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Authors

Sara C. Galvan

Abstract

Religious institutions have long offered their congregants services that go beyond worship. From access to schools or community halls to services as basic as parking, religious institutions necessarily use their land and resources for more than just religious observance. But particularly in the last two decades, they have begun expanding far beyond their traditional offerings to a wider and more diverse array of "auxiliary uses"--non-worship uses that are affiliated with a religious institution. Religious institutions now run insurance agencies, hospitals, health maintenance organizations, and transportation companies. They manage retail stores that sell religiously themed merchandise, incorporate popular franchises like Starbucks and McDonald's, finance recording studios, and operate credit unions and banks. The nation's second-largest church (with 30,000 congregants) has even begun developing both a 1200-home neighborhood and a 280-unit gated retirement community. The expanding breadth of the auxiliary uses offered by modem religious institutions raises the critical question considered by this Note: Which auxiliary uses should government protect, and how far should those protections be extended?

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