Today the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia v. Comer that the state of Missouri must give taxpayer funding to a house of worship – a blow to our country’s fundamental principle of church-state separation.
The U.S. Supreme Court is poised to act on several crucial religious freedom cases, all of which Americans United is involved in.
As soon as Monday and certainly by the end of next week, the court is expected to issue a ruling in Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia v. Comer, a case that threatens to blur the lines between church and state.
On April 19, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia v. Comer, a case that threatens to disrupt the healthy distance between church and state when it comes to issues of tax funding.
Backed by Alliance Defending Freedom, a Religious Right legal group, Trinity Lutheran Church sued Missouri officials after the state wouldn’t allow the church to participate in a taxpayer-funded grant program to improve its playground.
By The Rev. David W. Key Sr.
A case currently pending before the U.S. Supreme Court could dramatically affect the religious freedom of all Americans.
As a Baptist pastor and professor, I have long believed in the freedom of conscience for all people; I believe every person is made in the image of God, and is therefore given the freedom to know God and respond to God’s will. This is core to the Baptist tradition.
Before the United States was the United States, church-state relations varied from colony to colony.
Some colonies had established churches, and some did not. In those that did, the issue that tended to drive people to push for separation of church and state was mandatory tax support for religion.
Americans United today asked the U.S. Supreme Court to dismiss Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia v. Comer – a church-state separation case scheduled to be heard by the high court tomorrow.
Neil Gorsuch was sworn in this past Monday as the U.S. Supreme Court’s 113th justice, and his impact on pending religious freedom cases could be felt as early as next week.
On Monday, the court could announce whether it will grant review of the case Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. For months, court watchers have been waiting to see whether the high court will take this case involving a Colorado baker who cited his religious beliefs as justification to discriminate against a same-sex couple by refusing to bake them a wedding cake.
Less than a week before the U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments in the church-state separation case Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia v. Comer, Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens yesterday announced that churches are now eligible for the type of grant that was denied to Trinity.
Editor’s Note: On April 19, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in the case Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia v. Comer, which threatens to disturb the healthy distance between religion and government. Because of the importance of this lawsuit, we’re reposting a two-part blog by Carmen Green, a Madison fellow in AU’s Legal Department, explaining the case and its church-state separation implications.