Some Missouri public high school students are asking for an apology after their superintendent sermonized during a graduation ceremony May 13.
Willard High School seniors asserted that Superintendent Kent Medlin’s comments, which included prayers, were inappropriate and exclusive to Christians.
The U.S. Supreme Court went out of session this morning and did so with a bang. The high court took three actions that affect church-state separation.
Here’s a rundown on what happened:
Trinity Lutheran v. Comer: Americans United has been warning for more than a year that it could erode the church-state wall. The ruling is harmful – but not as bad as it might have been.
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.
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.
Nearly 20 years ago, Betsy DeVos and her husband were the primary funders of an effort to strip the Michigan Constitution’s no-aid clause – the provision that ensures the government doesn’t funnel taxpayer dollars to religious institutions, including private religious schools. Their goal: remove the constitutional barrier to implementation of a private school voucher program.
When I was in seminary in Wilmore, Ky., I served as a part-time missions pastor at a United Methodist church in town. The church was going through some transitions and was trying to figure out a vision for the coming months and years. The church had long been focused on caring for its own members through discipleship and preaching, but the members wanted to be more connected with the community, particularly with those who had yet to venture inside our doors.
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.