So much for religious liberty. In southern Oklahoma, of all places!
The City of Ardmore, Oklahoma has decided to prevent a church from opening to protect future bars that may or may not open in the small downtown area of the low-growth Oklahoma city.
The other day I wrote about how the Ardmore Planning Commission recommended that its City Commissioners block a church from being granted a conditional use permit in their downtown area.
The reasons given primarily had to do with how Ardmore wanted to protect downtown so that future bars and restaurants could open, because Oklahoma has a law that bars cannot be open within 300 feet of a church. But Ardmore has a downtown plan which apparently is geared towards more bars and restaurants. Churches are not on the menu.
Yet, allowing the church to open downtown would not have affected existing bars and restaurants.
The city treated this church differently, in other words, than they would have treated any other potential occupant of that space.
I believe this to be an extraordinary infraction of the church’s right to operate as could any other tenant of that space, but it isn’t up to me.
I were betting, I’d say we haven’t heard the last of this story.
Story from the Daily Ardmoreite
Story from KXII Television