LEESBURG, Va. – An outspoken Virginia attorney says that he wants public schools to stop renting space to churches for worship services, as he believes that the arrangement is a violation of the U.S. Constitution.

Attorney John Flannery, a former federal prosecutor and congressional chief of staff, recently wrote on the blog “Loudon Progress” that he found it problematic that 34 out of 87 schools in Loudoun County allow churches to host services on the premises each Sunday.

“It’s time to declare that religious worship is an impermissible use of our public schools,” he said. “In Loudoun County, the churches that use public school space are holding ‘church services’ and collecting ‘donations.’ This use advances religious worship, and thus religion. The government is plainly entangled when it’s hosting religious worship not in one or two schools but in 40% of all the county’s public schools.”

Flannery opined that society is ripe for dialogue about the matter as it has not generally been a topic of discussion. He said that renting the space after hours when school is not in session does not rectify the situation.

Written by Heather Clark
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