Virginia Beach has taken the radical step of allowing the almost-free practice of religion.

"The City Council voted unanimously to let a group of Buddhist monks hold religious services at their home in Pungo.

The monks can hold mediation services on Sundays with no more than 20 people, and festivals must be held elsewhere. The monks cannot put more statues in their yard, and the landscaping must be maintained. The conditions of the use permit approved by the council were outlined in a tentative settlement filed in federal court in March.

The monks and some followers had filed a federal lawsuit claiming that the city had violated their religious freedoms by denying them a permit last year. Some of the monks’ neighbors said they were concerned about traffic and a religious institution springing up in a residential area."

I am sure you can sympathize how shocking it can be when religious institutions spring up in residential areas. From my house a careless rock thrower would have to take careful aim not to hit a church--everything from catholic, Presbyterian, Methodist, and Baptist, to some that seem a bit more direct like the New End-Time Harvest Church of Restoration and some church called, oddly and bit unnervingly, Solutions.


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