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DeVos weighs in on Supreme Court church decision

They argue that if a playground operated by a church day care is a purely secular amenity, so, too, is a church school.”Today’s decision discounts centuries of history and jeopardizes the government’s ability to remain secular”, Sotomayor wrote, adding that the Trinity decision “leads us instead to a place where separation of church and state is a constitutional slogan, not a constitutional commitment”. NPR’s Tom Gjelten has the story.That sets the stage for a 5-year-old case involving a baker in Colorado who refused a custom wedding cake order from a gay couple, claiming that same-sex marriage violated his religious beliefs. However, Attorney David Cortman with conservative Christian non-profit Alliance Defending Freedom says the ruling continues to leave open the question of what needs can qualify for the grant. But when exactly does the determination not to establish religion become an effort to prohibit religion?The court reversed and remanded the case for further proceedings.Trinity Lutheran Church (LCMS) of Columbia, Missouri, won its case at the Supreme Court.DeVos is a strong proponent of school voucher programs, which use public money to help low-income students attend private schools, including religious ones.Or not. Perhaps the court’s decision in Trinity Lutheran Church v. Comer might turn out to be just about a playground.Among the parties supporting the state’s rejection of the application was the ACLU. Almost 80 percent of the states have Blaine amendments, provisions that discriminate against houses of worship and religious institutions in the distribution of public aid.Writing on behalf of the majority in a 7-2 decision, Chief Justice Roberts concluded, “T$3 he exclusion of Trinity Lutheran from a public benefit for which it is otherwise qualified, exclusively because it is a church, is odious to our Constitution. and can not stand”.As a nation, we are always testing the limits of religious liberty and the strength of the wall between church and state.Foundation President Kayla Moore hailed the ruling as “a victory for religious persons of all varieties”. The Supreme Court got this right.The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday that churches have the same right as other charitable groups to receive state funding. What’s wrong is only when the government is subsidizing the church because it’s a church.Chief Justice Roberts was joined by Justices Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Anthony Kennedy, Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan and Samuel Alito, in the majority opinion. Public school advocates meanwhile were somewhat relieved. “The court’s ruling, however, focuses specifically on grants for playground resurfacing, and does not give the government unlimited authority to fund religious activity”, Mach said.The Orthodox Jewish group Agudath Israel of America said the ruling could provide support for the argument that it would be discriminatory to not allow publicly funded tuition vouchers to be used for schooling at a religious institution. That didn’t happen today. “I don’t see why it should matter whether we describe that benefit, say, as closed to Lutherans (status) or closed to people who do Lutheran things (use)”.The high court said yes.Daniel Mach, director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s program on freedom of religion and belief, expressed disappointment in the ruling.