Montana Regional MLS, which stands for multi-listing services, is an organization that oversees a database system that collates real estate listings for the National Associations of REALTORS® and the Montana Association of @REALTORS. The power MLS exhibits over Montana real estate agents is huge, and it’s nearly impossible to engage in the real estate industry inside the Big Sky State without them.
However, they have just banned Montana realtors from mentioning God.
Yes, that’s right. Saying the Almighty’s name is verboten, banned, and prohibited by Montana Regional MLS. As Montana’s floodgates are open to refugees from blue states trying to escape Big Government oppression, one wonders why the MLS God-ban has been installed and what kind of people they are tryinig to get to move to our state by not being able to so much as mention God.
Here’s the story, with evidence provided below: A realtor said in an advertisement, “If you want to talk to God, come to Montana.” They were then immediately threatened by Montana MLS, who demanded they take down the comment as a “violation of fair housing laws.”
Of course, mentioning God is not a violation of Title VIII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act known as the Fair Housing Act. This part of the historic civil rights legislation forbids discrimination based upon race, religion, national origin, or sex. However, there is absolutely nothing keeping people from merely mentioning God in an advertising listing.
If the Fair Housing Act would prevent someone from mentioning God – or religion – it would violate the First Amendment of the United States Constitution and would have thrust our nation into a Constitutional Crisis more than a half-century ago.
However, the curious claim by Montana MLS – that saying the word “God” – is somehow the same as denying housing to someone based upon their religion, must make listing properties in Providence, Rhode Island next to impossible. Of course, no one has ever suggested a mere passing reference to God is somehow violating people’s rights.
The Montana State Constitution clearly references God Almighty (and also assures Montanans of religious liberty…like being able to mention God).
The Preamble to the Montana State Constitution
“We the people of Montana grateful to God for the quiet beauty of our state, the grandeur of our mountains, the vastness of our rolling plains, and desiring to improve the quality of life, equality of opportunity and to secure the blessings of liberty for this and future generations do ordain and establish this constitution.”
It seems some discrimination has taken place in the realm of real estate, even in a state with ordinarily wholesome values that typically gives a Montana cowboy hat-tip to the very God who rolled out our valleys, grew our amber waves of grain, and piled up our purple mountain majesties.
Bill Zader and his wife Liz are both God-fearing realtors based out of Florence, Montana. Zader has been receiving some not-so-favorable emails via the Montana Regional MLS, demanding he stop using God’s name and cease referencing Him at all.
After making his comment about speaking to God in Montana (because it is a serene environment, full of his handiwork, where people have always come to be close to both Creator and creation), Bill Zader got a letter informing him that his constitutional rights had been canceled by MLS.
1st Notice of Violation on MRMLS# 22104738 [Reference No:1669621;160]
To quote part of the above, “Please remove the potential Fair Housing Violation from the Listing Remarks.
“If you want to talk to God….come to Montana.”
That response was emailed to Bill Zader after Zader listed a property as thus, “Once in a lifetime chance to own the most spectacular location for your dream home in the Rocky Mountains of Western Montana! Located on a private road behind an electronic gate, at the top of a mountain within a few minutes of Missoula, MT; this parcel of 24 treed acres has the infrastructure in place.”
“50 miles paved bike trail from Missoula to Hamilton; golf, hiking trails, state parks, lakes, boating, horseback riding… if you want to talk to God, come to Montana, it’s a local call. Montana…the last best place.”
Zader countered with this response, to which Montana Regional MLS then countered back.
“Dear Colleagues: Undoubtedly, this automated data mining system has made a mistake in this instance! The term God is neither religion-specific and, as you know, is stamped on our U.S. currency. In God We Trust.”
He added, “Please update your compliance system to remove this obvious error. Thank you for your assistance.”
But then, Zader got notice that it wasn’t a computer error. It was an intentional human decision, upset that he could be “steering people of religion toward your listing.”
Montana Regional Listing Service then specified, “The term ‘god’ is specific to religion in and of itself and therefore could be taken as steering people of religion toward your listing.“
That was signed by Derek Close, the technology director for Montana MLS (his phone number is 406-752-0416).
Zader’s wife, Liz, then changed the word “God” to “cowboy” so he could continue to sell real estate.
Apparently, the price of doing real estate in Montana is giving up your First Amendment liberties. Zader’s wife has explained that there’s really no other way to conduct businesses in real estate without being members of MLS. The change in wording was necessary for “any realtor who wants a paycheck.”
Of course, Judas also betrayed Jesus for 20 pieces of silver. But we digress…
Meanwhile, Montana MLS has repeatedly made overtures to the LGBTQ community and has sponsored ‘inclusivity’ organizations that lobby for homosexuals to move to Montana. That’s okay. But Christians? Christians are apparently the wrong kind of people and we don’t want to attract that kind here.