Ring one up for the church in Phoenix

Posted by Patrice Tuohy
Wednesday 28, April 2010 | Category:  

A U.S. federal court has ruled that a Phoenix, Arizona, ordinance that limits the sound of church bells is an unconstitutional infringement of religious expression, reports Ecumenical News International. Three Phoenix churches, including a Roman Catholic parish, had sued over the ordinance, which prohibits "any unusual or disturbing" sound. In one instance neighbors had complained after one of the congregations moved to a new location and began ringing their church's electronic bells every hour from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. The bells rang at 67 decibels; the law had made an exception for ice cream trucks, which were allowed to ring up to 70 decibels.

ARIZONA UPDATE: Arizona is taking heat from the church again--this time for its newly enacted immigration law. Arizona's bishops have expressed their opposition to the legislation. They stated earlier this month that the legislation may have many unintended consequences, including keeping dangerous criminals on the street because illegal immigrants will be afraid to report crimes. Now New Mexico's three Catholic bishops have issued a statement saying they are concerned the law could lead to racial profiling, community distrust, and a pervasive fear among immigrants. According to an Associated Press report, Arizona's law would make it a state crime to be in the U.S. illegally. Set to take effect in late July or early August, the law directs state and local police to question people about their immigration status if there is reason to suspect they are illegal. The New Mexico Catholic bishops say immigration reform is needed at the national level to deal with disparities in current immigration law and that Arizona's measure "is not in keeping with the best traditions of our nation."




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