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With Trump Pick Aboard, Supreme Court Tackles Religious Rights

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posted on Apr, 17 2017 @ 07:47 AM
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With Trump Pick Aboard, Supreme Court Tackles Religious Rights
I'm putting this thread in the mud pit because it is speculative in nature. We don't actually know how the new SCOTUS will rule in this case yet, but with Gorsuch being open to expanding religious rights in this country it is worth noting and talking about.

The U.S. Supreme Court is set this week to hear a closely watched case testing the limits of religious rights, and new Justice Neil Gorsuch’s judicial record indicates he could tip the court toward siding with a church challenging Missouri’s ban on state funding of religious entities.

Yes, Missouri wants tax payers to help pay for church expenses. VERY cut and dry separation of church and state issue here. Though the case itself seem benign since the church in question was trying to buy playground equipment (should have asked their congregation for more donations in my opinion).


Trinity Lutheran Church, which is located in Columbia, Missouri and runs a preschool and daycare center, said Missouri unlawfully excluded it from a grant program providing state funds to nonprofit groups to buy rubber playground surfaces. Missouri’s constitution prohibits “any church, sect or denomination of religion” from receiving state taxpayer money.

Gorsuch, who embraced an expansive view of religious rights as a Colorado-based federal appeals court judge, on Monday hears his first arguments since becoming a justice last week. He will be on the bench on Wednesday when the justices hear the Trinity Lutheran case, one of the most important of their current term.

Now you may not have a problem with this because it is going to help make kids safer, but the problem here is that getting rid of this rule opens up the flood gates for other tax-funded religious nonsense. I'm an atheist, I don't want to pay to help you worship Jesus. I don't want to help you worship Mohammad. I don't want to help you worship Buddha. Etc. Use your own money and your congregation's money to do that.

The U.S. Constitution calls for a separation of church and state and guarantees the free exercise of religion.


At the very least, a victory for Trinity Lutheran would help religious organizations nationwide win public dollars for certain purposes, such as health and safety.

But it also could bolster the case for using public money for vouchers to help pay for children to attend religious schools rather than public schools in “school choice” programs backed by many conservatives. For example, Colorado’s top court in 2015 found that a Douglas County voucher program violated a state constitutional provision similar to Missouri’s.

Missouri says their grant program is fine, and I see their point. Missouri's grant program isn't special. In fact it's the norm.

Missouri said there is nothing unconstitutional about its grant program.

“Trinity Lutheran remains free, without any public subsidy, to worship, teach, pray and practice any other aspect of its faith however it wishes. The state merely declines to offer financial support,” the state said in legal papers.


Groups filing legal papers opposing Trinity Lutheran, including the American Civil Liberties Union, said government funding of churches is precisely what the Constitution forbids.

“Forcing states to provide cash to build church property could open the floodgates to programs that coerce taxpayers to underwrite religion,” said Daniel Mach, director of the ACLU’s program on freedom of religion and belief.

Mach said three-quarters of the U.S. states have provisions like Missouri’s.

Also, this group suing over this law is also bringing forward the wedding cake issue again...

Alliance Defending Freedom, which also opposes gay marriage, transgender protections and abortion, has another major case involving religion that the Supreme Court could take up in its term beginning in October. It represents a Colorado bakery’s Christian owner who argues the Constitution’s promise of religious freedom means he should not have to make a wedding cake for a gay couple.


Looks like this will be yet ANOTHER bump in the already treacherously bumpy road the 1st Amendment will be traveling down over the next 4 years.




posted on Apr, 17 2017 @ 07:55 AM
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Even if we ignore separation of church and state there's also the fact that churches don't pay taxes. Why should they be eligible to receive taxpayer money why they don't contribute any money in the first place?

I don't see how anyone can support what this church is trying to do. I don't even get how this case made it to the Supreme Court.



posted on Apr, 17 2017 @ 08:03 AM
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a reply to: Xcalibur254

Good point! If you don't pay taxes to begin with then you have no authority to be seeking money from the state.



posted on Apr, 17 2017 @ 08:11 AM
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You don't pay taxes because you don't make a profit. You rely on your parishers who are finding you out of their already taxed finds.

I know everyone will immediately think of the filthy rich churches, but there are plenty of them in poor neighborhoods too. I pass by one such on my way to drop off my son at school. They have a small daycare and they have a small playground. The equipment is on blacktop surface. It's like the best they can afford to do. The kids are lucky they have any playground at all.

Many are performing a balancing act between all the rules and regs the state requires what their clients can afford to pay for services on top of the fact what they can expect to chip in from their own funding sources which is pretty much purely tithe and that is all taxed already. A lot have to do endless fundraising to afford anything extra of any substance.

So, I fail to see how allowing a nonprofit to seek a one-time grant to find a very specific, non-religious item that would improve child safety would constitute actual funding of religion here. It's not like they said they want an alter or illustrated children's bibles. They want a one-time grant for a specific, non-religious facility upgrade.
edit on 17-4-2017 by ketsuko because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 17 2017 @ 08:19 AM
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originally posted by: ketsuko
So, I fail to see how allowing a nonprofit to seek a one-time grant to find a very specific, non-religious item that would improve child safety would constitute actual funding of religion here. It's not like they said they want an alter or illustrated children's bibles. They want a one-time grant for a specific, non-religious facility upgrade.

Because it sets precedent to open the door for non-religious items.



posted on Apr, 17 2017 @ 08:37 AM
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a reply to: Krazysh0t

There should be a separation of Church and State lest the US become a nation ruled by theocratic oligarchs hell bent on forcing their version of freedom on the rest of us.

So, how exactly does one enjoy their free exercise of religion AND be a US politician/lawmaker the same time? Is there a Constitutional code-of-conduct that all US citizens working for government must abide by where they promise to not do or think God-stuff during working hours? How is the separation managed and monitored?

If a politician makes reference to God, should they be reprimanded for not separating the God from government?

Should all public infrastructure be denied to all religions? No roads, plumbing, electricity, street lights, garbage pick up etc etc - get off public land and away from public funded projects - suffer like your God.

How does the separation stay separated and who are the separation police monitoring all God references from public servants.

ALL or NOTHING - shades of grey are killing America.

Keep Churches separated from Government funded business, it's important that all religious, and in particular Christians (who, imo, are the clear focus of the church/state separation requirement under the US Constitution) understand why it's important that this separation be maintained.



posted on Apr, 17 2017 @ 08:40 AM
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a reply to: Krazysh0t

In this case, the location of the business in question is incidental. The question is whether or not the grant may be used by a daycare or school to upgrade its playground with the item in question. If it can and the purpose and item are not religious in nature or used to endorse religion, then the location of the daycare or school should be incidental. If any other daycare or school in any other location could reasonably be expected to have the grant approved for the same purpose, then the daycare or school is being denied solely because it happens to exist inside a religious facility and for no other reason which is discriminatory.

The principle of separation of church and state is supposed to keep the state from endorsing the practice of a religion, not from keeping children from having a safe playground surface simply because their school facility/daycare happens to exist at a religious facility.

My child will not become religious because he plays on a playground and neither will anyone else's.

The very same state likely holds all its elections inside the very same religious facilities and no one that I know of got converted by voting inside them.



posted on Apr, 17 2017 @ 08:55 AM
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a reply to: Xcalibur254


I agree. If churches want government money, then they should pay taxes. If they're operating a non-profit business, then they can apply for regular non-profit status, just like any secular non-profit business. They shouldn't be sheltered from taxes simply because of their religious status.



posted on Apr, 17 2017 @ 08:56 AM
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a reply to: ketsuko

My point is that when you start making exceptions then it opens the door for other behaviors. The Alliance Defending Freedom PICKED this case because of the specifics you are mentioning. It's just an attempt to get the foot in the door. I don't agree with any leeway here. Otherwise they should pay taxes themselves.



posted on Apr, 17 2017 @ 09:03 AM
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a reply to: ketsuko



My child will not become religious because he plays on a playground and neither will anyone else's.


No. Their children will become religious because of the school's religious curriculum. This isn't about playground equipment or desks. It's about governmental support of religious institutions in their goals to provide a religious atmosphere.




edit on 17-4-2017 by windword because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 17 2017 @ 09:04 AM
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I'm fine with churches not getting grant money. No problem.

I'm not fine with excluding a church from receiving funding under the exact same conditions that fund similar projects solely because it is a church.

Either the grants go to ALL non-profit day cares, secular, Christian, Buddhist, Muslim, Luciferian, or they go to none. Anything less is an exact violation of the 1st Amendment.

TheRedneck



posted on Apr, 17 2017 @ 09:06 AM
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a reply to: ketsuko

except that`s not what is happening in this situation.

this is from their website.


Trinity Lutheran Child Learning Center (TLCLC) is a ministry of Trinity Lutheran Church serving families with young children ages 2 years (by August 1st) through Pre-K. TLCLC incorporates daily religion and developmentally appropriate activities into a school and optional daycare program.


www.trinity-lcms.org...

it`s a religion based pre-school and day care where the children are subjected to daily religious activities.



posted on Apr, 17 2017 @ 09:13 AM
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I really don't see a difference between a church and any other non-profit organization. They're all the same to me I don't see what the big deal is. I think the only people who care are those who hate Christians.



posted on Apr, 17 2017 @ 09:20 AM
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a reply to: Krazysh0t

No. The only Supremes Republicans will ever allow are pro-corporation in every ruling above all other considerations.



posted on Apr, 17 2017 @ 09:22 AM
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originally posted by: jjkenobi
I really don't see a difference between a church and any other non-profit organization. They're all the same to me I don't see what the big deal is. I think the only people who care are those who hate Christians.


Churches are allowed to discriminate and aren't held to federal standards in most cases. Federal funds shouldn't go to organization that are allowed to break federal guidelines.



posted on Apr, 17 2017 @ 09:36 AM
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I would say that the day care center......in this case.....should be able to get funding for the rubber playground mat as long as the grant is available to any similar program or business. Just because it is a church sponsored program does not mean it should be disqualified in this case.

The thing is, those rubber playground surfaces give off gasses that are not good for the kids. I think they should consider not getting it in the first place. I do not know why our government even allows those things. Evidently even Christians are BSed by lies.

Sometimes the government agencies require these safety things, which is definitely something our country should look into. These toxic chemical lased things are going to cause health issues for the kids. The Government agencies should scrutinize their use, not try to promote business for the manufacturers.



posted on Apr, 17 2017 @ 09:38 AM
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a reply to: windword

What do Federal guidelines have to do with Missouri funding?

They should be held to the same state guidelines. Missouri cannot approve nor deny funding based on religious affiliation or practice.

TheRedneck



posted on Apr, 17 2017 @ 09:40 AM
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a reply to: rickymouse



I would say that the day care center......in this case.....should be able to get funding for the rubber playground mat as long as the grant is available to any similar program or business.


Grant money isn't unlimited. There are winners and losers. I don't think that rubber mats to should be granted to a playground that won't allow the children of a gay couple to play on it, for example.



posted on Apr, 17 2017 @ 09:58 AM
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originally posted by: Xcalibur254
Even if we ignore separation of church and state there's also the fact that churches don't pay taxes. Why should they be eligible to receive taxpayer money why they don't contribute any money in the first place?

I don't see how anyone can support what this church is trying to do. I don't even get how this case made it to the Supreme Court.

The grant program in question is designed for tax exempt groups that pay no tax dollars. Scrap the whole program.



posted on Apr, 17 2017 @ 09:59 AM
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originally posted by: windword

originally posted by: jjkenobi
I really don't see a difference between a church and any other non-profit organization. They're all the same to me I don't see what the big deal is. I think the only people who care are those who hate Christians.


Churches are allowed to discriminate and aren't held to federal standards in most cases. Federal funds shouldn't go to organization that are allowed to break federal guidelines.



When and if they apply for FEDERAL funds this could apply. They are applying for STATE funds though.



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