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Tuesday, June 14, 2005

CA Historic Sites Denied Funding - Because They are Historic Missions

The California Missions are a historic part of the settling of the west. Franciscan priests were one of the first to settle, where they built the missions to house native-american Indians and Spanish soldiers. Today the missions are regularly damaged by earthquakes. The federal government has authorized $10 million over five years for upkeep and repairs for the 22 missions.

The Americans United for Separation of Church and State has sued Gale Norton, the Interior Secretary responsible for overseeing the funding. Reverend Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United, comments on how this law suit related to other historic churches that already receive government funding for restoration, "It's like, 'We can go rob a bank because we've heard other banks were robbed and they didn't get caught.'"

Erin Angell, spokeswoman for the restoration program, compared the missions to other restoration projects, "They still have to meet the same requirements. They have to be open to the public; no discrimination. There was no reason to exclude them from bricks-and-mortar preservation funding,"

Church-State Separation Fight Engulfs Upkeep of Missions

Mission Money Spurs Church-State Separation Fight

California Missions Foundation

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