Skip to comments.Latest Supreme Court’s Religious-Freedom Message: There Are No Second-Class Citizens
Posted on 06/26/2017 1:10:04 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
While there are many threats to religious liberty, few are more consequential over the long term than the states ever-expanding role in private life. If the government is able to vacuum up tax dollars, create programs large and small for public benefit, and then exclude religious individuals or institutions from those programs, it has functionally created two tiers of citizenship. Secular individuals and institutions enjoy full access to the government they fund, while religious individuals and institutions find themselves funding a government that overtly discriminates against them.
Thats the issue the Supreme Court addressed today in Trinity Lutheran Church v. Comer. By a 72 margin, the Court held that when a state creates a neutral program for public benefit in this case a program that uses scrap tires to provide rubberized safety flooring for playgrounds it cant exclude a church from that program, even if that means state benefits flow directly to a house of worship. Justice Roberts, writing for the majority, was emphatic:
The Missouri Department of Natural Resources has not subjected anyone to chains or torture on account of religion. And the result of the States policy is nothing so dramatic as the denial of political office. The consequence is, in all likelihood, a few extra scraped knees. But the exclusion of Trinity Lutheran from a public benefit for which it is otherwise qualified, solely because it is a church, is odious to our Constitution all the same, and cannot stand.
The Courts holding secured by my friends and former colleagues at the Alliance Defending Freedom is significant for two reasons. First, it places another brick in a wall of precedent that stands for the proposition that once the state creates a neutral program one designed neither to advance nor to inhibit religious practice it cant exclude citizens or institutions from that program merely because theyre religious. Under these precedents, churches are able to worship in government buildings, religious student groups may access student activity fees to fund their campus outreach, parents may send their children to religious schools with publicly funded vouchers, and hosts of religious organizations may participate in public/private partnerships to serve our nations poorest and most vulnerable citizens. So entrenched is this precedent that it would have been a legal earthquake had the Court ruled against the church.
Second, seven of the nine justices concurred in the result of the case. This means that the principle of religious nondiscrimination in public programs has broad judicial support. Indeed, in recent years the Court has decided a number of significant religious-freedom cases unanimously or with overwhelming majorities. Yes, the Hobby Lobby case was a classically contentious 54 ruling, but other significant cases (such as Hosanna-Tabor v. EEOC which kept the government out of significant church-hiring decisions and Little Sisters of the Poor) achieved consensus.
Constitutional doctrine is usually created not by a judicial grand slam but rather through a long series of singles, stolen bases, and walks. Even the biggest cases rarely come out of nowhere but are rather forecast through other, smaller decisions. This case represents judicial progress a sharp single into center field and is well worth celebrating.
There are, however, storm clouds on the horizon. Justice Sotomayor wrote a sharply worded dissent (Ruth Bader Ginsburg joined) claiming that the Courts decision profoundly changes the relationship between church and state by holding, for the first time, that the Constitution requires the government to provide public funds directly to a church. But this is overwrought. Again, given existing precedent, the profound change would have been a ruling against the church. The Court would have sanctioned outright anti-religious discrimination in areas as benign as tire-recycling and playground-resurfacing. That would have pushed Establishment Clause jurisprudence back from its trending neutrality to the outright anti-religious hostility of the most far-left judicial activists.
This case represents judicial progress and is well worth celebrating.
Moreover, the case created consensus in part because it didnt touch on the hot-button cultural conflict between religious freedom and the sexual revolution. Just before the Supreme Court announced its ruling in Trinity Lutheran, it also announced that it would hear a Christian bakers appeal in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, a case that could determine whether the state can compel citizens to lend their artistic talents to celebrate events they consider to be immoral. In this case, the question is whether a Christian baker can be required to help celebrate a gay wedding. It would be surprising indeed to see anything other than a 54 decision in that case, with Justice Kennedy likely providing the swing vote.
But thats tomorrow concern. Today was a good day for religious liberty. Seven of nine justices took a hard look at a government program that explicitly discriminated on the basis of religion and rejected it out of hand. Todays message was clear. People of faith arent second-class citizens, and their churches are entitled to equal treatment under the law.
Amen, Mr. Chief Justice!
The "wise Latina" talks out her @ss - and RBG proclaims it a bouquet.
Does she not think federal funds are going DIRECTLY to churches who supply immigration “services”?
Ginsburg is a repulsive anti-Christian, Jewish bigot, as her dissent once again proves.
Amazing how truly ignorant this woman is. Truly amazing. Most of us on this forum know that there is no such thing as a separation of church and state. We need more church, more imput into our public conscience.
No, she does not.
Ginsburg is 84 and can’t hold on much longer. If Trump appoints another Justice with the conservative mettle of Goresuch to replace her the, “Wise Latina” will be irrelevant. Ditto for Justice Kennedy.
Noting that the misguided pope seems to have missed his calling with respect to devoting much of his papal time to politically correct global warming, seemingly unconcerned about Jesus’ “Great Commission of Matthew 28:16-20, please consider the following.
Noting that the pope has media enemies like Trump does, on behalf of the pope I question what the pope actually said in Ecuador.
‘Does she not think federal funds are going DIRECTLY to churches who supply immigration services?’
The Colorado cake case will likely, sadly, be decided by Kennedy in favor of fascist homosexual commerce.
There are workarounds, and these workarounds will anger and frustrate homosexuals who seek to make Christians bow before perversion.
From the homosexual’s point of view, it is about the normalization of their lifestyle. From the Christian’s point of view, it is about leading a Godly life to the best of their ability.
The workarounds I envisage will be impenetrable unless the United States declares all commerce of any form to be subject to perversion, in effect rendering religious liberty dead.
Bear in mind that not all perverts are comprised of homosexuals and pedophiles. There exist heterosexual perverts. No one is forcing these perverted lifestyles to be outlawed except in the case of pedophilia but that too in time will be incremental in its adapation.
Christians only seek to freely assemble and associate. And by Christians, it is not meant perverts that call themselves Christian but rather those souls that continually seek to better themselves and serve their fellows before God.
The 1964 Civil Rights Act does NOT include homosexuality or any other sexual orientation in its language. But that did not stop Kennedy in his decades of decisions from demolishing what he could of traditional Christian values in the public square.
Perverts will not stop until they are fully accepted as sinless human beings at the altar of the Lord, inside the refuge of churches, requiring by legal force of non-ecclesiastical law that all Christians shall acknowledge and accept their ‘love’, meaning their view of how things are to be defined, in other words, one must abandon common sense and accept their perversion, their order, or else.
So the line must be drawn at the entrance of the Church. That line must not yield. If it does, the group affected is no longer a Church but a group in the grasp of evil. What goes on ‘outside’ the entrance lies in darkness. What goes on inside is and must always be in the light.
My view is that perverts are free to enter the Church as sinners and to seek to amend their way of life, as for any other member. But it is non-negotiable to force Christians to turn away from God and accept the edict of a human court of law, especially ‘inside the Church’.
The workarounds I envisage but will not detail at this time, pertain to defining what is ‘inside the Church’.
First, of course, is the famous quote by John Adams, "Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other." This one quote alone clearly explains the foundational religious principle undergirding the Constitution, which is that a constitution which gives its people unprecedented freedom will only result in anarchy, unless those people are self-restrained by an external moral code (i.e., one given by God and therefore not subject to their own selfish whims). A people (as we have in large part today) that discards this wisdom and instead simply wants to justify their basest urges will eventually find that the "utopia" they have created has become so corrupt and violent that only an authoritarian dictatorship can restore order.
Second, the authors of the "establishment clause" and their contemporaries seemed to have no problem with holding Christian church services in the Senate chambers, and even the chambers of the Supreme Court! As President, Thomas Jefferson (you know, that guy the left portrays as a "deist") had a reserved seat and was said to rarely miss a service. Well, if the Constitution permits holding church services in the capitol itself, then CLEARLY it permits religious institutions to receive "public" funds.
Third, the early Congress appropriated federal funds to purchase bibles and hire preachers to evangelize the Indian tribes. And the Massachusetts state constitution, upon which the federal constitution is largely based, STILL contains a provision for the use of state funds to hire preachers, because of the necessity of religious instruction to exercising good citizenship (I'm paraphrasing that last part, don't have it in front of me at the moment).
So obviously, this relatively recent revisionism is a complete and utter lie, promulgated by progressives because of nothing more than their desire to abolish God from public life (and private life, if they can). All of their political craziness really boils down to nothing more than their rebellion against God. They are trying desperately to create a Man-centered governing regime, in the vain belief that it will "free" them. On the contrary, pursuit of their agenda will only result in bondage, pain, and death.
Nor do I see how age laws protecting minors can now stand.
This country has long crossed a slippery slope. We're on downhill skis now.
Nor do I see how age laws protecting minors can now stand.
Did you read the article or just the headline? If the former, how do you conclude from churches' right to participate in public programs that no combination of individuals can be denied anything or that age laws protecting minors cannot stand?
‘Trinity Lutheran Church v. Comer”
Who was Comer? I have wondered what kind evil bastard tried to stop a church from being eligible to bid on safety materials to put on a children’s playground?
Director, Missouri Department Of Natural Resources.
The words separation between church & state comes from Jefferson’s letter to the Danbury Baptist in 1/1/1802. Assuring the Baptist that the government would not interfere with religion. The complete letter was used till 1947.
In 1947 Everson v Board of Education a liberal court took the words separation between church & state out of the letter and used just those words out of context. This is where the so-called separation of church & state comes from. This his been uses ever since to remove religion from everything. The court need to put those words back in the letter and look at the complete meaning
Sotamayor and Ginsberg need to go.
... the "free exercise" clause of the First Amendment. In effect, it says that just as Congress shall make no law ESTABLISHING a state religion, neither shall it prohibit a religion from being practiced.
"Being practiced" doesn't mean going to a steepled building on Sunday and singing hymns. At least to Christians, it means living a Gospel, a life in accord with the Holy Spirit, and at peace with God's holy word. Forcing a tradesman to support the abomination of homosexuality is to deny him the right to practice his religion. And all so a couple of fags can have a cake at their perverted ritual, a cake they can get a hundred other places.
This ruling must be struck down on the basis that it defies the Free Exercise clause of the First Amendment.
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