Religious Freedom Under Attack
David French, Julea Ward and Jeremy Tedesco celebrate new Sixth Circuit court victories. We applaud their tenacity and ability to present to a knowing judge the high stakes of the Michigan University case. Essentially, the team set out to reverse a trial-court ruling that essentially allowed Eastern Michigan University to erect a “no Christians allowed” sign outside its graduate counseling program. As French aptly remarks, “Had the university prevailed, students would truly have been at the mercy of ad hoc ideological demands reformulated as “curricular requirements.” We’re seeing this kind of reverse discrimination and depletion of religious freedoms coming at us from all directions, as more and more groups see themselves as constructs and laws unto themselves.
Another Win for Religious Freedom
Another recent 2012 key victory for religious freedom occurred a few weeks ago the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that religious organizations have a First Amendment right to choose their ministers — even in the face of federal nondiscrimination policies. This is a huge win–though the fact that it’s an issue contested shows where we’ve come in our understanding of freedom of religion, freedom of conscience, and religious exemptions.
In Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the court reversed the Sixth Circuit and ruled, even unanimously ruled, in fact, that the First Amendment’s Free Exercise and Establishment clauses bar suits brought by ministers against their churches for violations of nondiscrimination laws. This case “re-affirmed the exception as fundamental to religious liberty.”
At the ACLJ David French and others filed an amicus brief (along with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship) in support of Hosanna-Tabor, which he states “was vital in maintaining a firewall against active government attempts to encroach into a church’s most sacred and vital religious decisions — the decision as to who ministers to the faithful”.
Learn more about religious freedom at the official site of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (inadvertently called by friends of other faiths as the “Mormon Church”).
Religious freedom is essential for a healthy society.
Attend a local meetinghouse.
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