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N.J. Town Removes Devotional Shrine From Public Land

Saying he was motivated to defend the separation of church and state, a New Jersey mayor ordered the removal of a religious shrine from state-owned land.

Newly-elected Passaic Mayor Hector Lora called for the 14-year-old shrine to Our Lady of Guadalupe to be dismantled because it was a religious display on public property. Mayordomia Guadalupe, the group caring for the shrine, was stringing electrical lines for security cameras on the site and collecting money for its upkeep, reported the Bergen County Record.

N.J. Township Pays Fees In Mosque Case

A New Jersey town that rejected a plan by local Muslims to build a mosque by requiring it to have more parking spaces on its property than churches and synagogues is paying the Islamic Society of Basking Ridge $3.25 million in damages and legal fees after reaching a settlement.

Zoned Out

When Muslims in Bernards Township, N.J., sought to build a mosque, they found themselves subjected to a strange requirement that wasn’t imposed on other houses of worship: They’d have to build a “supersized” parking lot.

Officials in the township insisted that since Muslims gather for prayers on Friday afternoon, everyone who might come to the mosque should have a dedicated parking spot.

N.J. Can’t Subject Mosque To Higher Parking Requirements

A federal judge has ruled that a New Jersey town cannot require a mosque to have more parking spaces on its property than churches and synagogues, marking what activists hope is the end of a four-year legal battle. 

U.S. District Court Judge Michael Shipp’s Dec. 31 ruling gave the Islamic Society of Basking Ridge a win against Ber­nards Township, which, after 39 planning board meetings, rejected a plan by local Muslims to construct a mosque.

Taking A Break From Evangelicals, Trump Stumps At Hindu Event

Beleaguered Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has been aggressively wooing conservative evangelical Christians for months, but he recently took some time out to target another religious group: Hindus.

Last week Trump spoke to the crowd at a Hindu charity concert in New Jersey. Politico reported that Trump addressed about 10,000 attendees between acts of the Bollywood-themed show.

Plate Shift

Shannon Morgan was merely trying to personalize her license plate to “8THEIST” when officials in New Jersey rejected it because they deemed it “objectionable."
 
The incident occurred in November 2013, and it took Morgan, a Leesburg, N.J., resident, by surprise. At the time, she thought the rejection was a technical problem, but it wasn’t. New Jersey officials’ reasoning was that an “8THEIST” plate “may carry connotations offensive to good taste and decency.”

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