Supreme Court blocks Obama attack on religious liberty

January 12, 2012 13:55

Citing well-known legal precedent dating as far back as Reconstruction, the court made it clear that it is not up to the government to contradict a faith’s determination as to who should — and should not — be performing religious functions. –


By   January 11, 2012



Chief Justice John Roberts, writing for a unanimous court swatted away the government’s claim that the Lutheran Church did not have the right to fire a “minister of religion”


For a long time American courts have recognized the existence of a “ministerial exemption” which keeps government’s hands off the employment relationship between a religious institution and its ministers or clergy.


Here, in this case, the Department of Justice had the nerve to not only challenge the exemption’s application but also its very existence.


But, Chief Justice Roberts pushed back hard, telling the government essentially to butt out:


“Requiring a church to accept or retain an unwanted minister, or punishing a church for failing to do so, intrudes upon more than a mere employment decision. Such action interferes with the internal governance of the church, depriving the church of control over the selection of those who will personify its beliefs. By imposing an unwanted minister, the state infringes the free exercise clause, which protects a religious group’s right to shape its own faith and mission through its appointments. According the state the power to determine which individuals will minister to the faithful also violates the establishment clause, which prohibits government involvement in such ecclesiastical decisions.”


Americans face even greater issues in their desire to retain their religious freedom. The mandates of ObamaCare — with its narrowly tailored if not measly conscience exemptions protecting some religious orders from compliance — will mandate thousands of other religious organizations ranging from educational institutions to insurance companies to insure and/or provide procedures like free sterilization and abortifacients like Plan B known to be violative of many Christians and Jewish faiths.


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