FRC: Trinity Lutheran Decision a 'Win for Freedoms Americans Have Long Exercised'
Family Research Council has played a big role in the case of Trinity Lutheran v. Comer, the key religious liberty case in which the Supreme Court issued its 7-2 decision Monday.
As the case was being prepared for the high court, FRC joined a coalition of evangelical Christian faith groups and pro-family groups to file an amicus brief in support of the church. Then, when oral arguments were finally made before the court in late April, FRC's Director of the Center for Religious Liberty, Travis Weber, was in the court room.
Following the release of the Supreme Court's decision, Weber made this statement:
This win for Trinity Lutheran Church is a win for the freedoms that Americans have long exercised.
With the recent addition of Justice Gorsuch, we are much more optimistic about the future of religious freedom in America. The Supreme Court rightly found that the freedom of religion, including that of Trinity Lutheran, is clearly protected by the Constitution. Justice Gorsuch's presence will re-enforce a welcome originalist voice in not just the Trinity Lutheran case but also plenty of pivotal cases in the decades to come.
The state of Missouri was hardly fair to this congregation, whose children at the daycare and preschool need just as much outdoor padding as others. The court clearly understood this, and ruled that it is unconstitutional to treat religious organizations differently in the public square just because they are religious.
At the heart of the First Amendment is the idea that Americans should be able to not just hold beliefs but follow those beliefs as they live their lives. The free exercise of religion, explicitly protected by the First Amendment, protects varied and robust religious expression in the public square. Certainly the framers never meant to exclude churches from public life in the way the state of Missouri and lower courts have here.
The First Amendment also ensures that Americans will not be forced to adhere to whatever religious views the government deems correct and orthodox. It certainly was never intended to scrub all religious expression from the public square or bar organizations from receiving any benefit from the government merely because they are religious. We are merely asking for a fair and level playing field for religious and nonreligious organizations.