Supreme Court justices show support for church, in Gorsuch’s 1st high-profile case

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April 20, 2017

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A majority on the Supreme Court appeared to offer support Wednesday for a church excluded from a publicly funded aid program, during the hearing for what was considered Justice Neil Gorsuch’s first high-profile case.

At issue is a double dose of contentious issues: religious freedom and taxpayer funding. It is one of the most closely watched cases of the term, and could portend a series of upcoming church-state disputes facing the justices.

The justices are considering whether Trinity Lutheran Church in Columbia, Mo., should be eligible for state funds. The church sued after being denied funding to improve the surface of a playground used by its preschool, by replacing gravel with softer, recycled synthetic rubber.

The state program gives grants to nonprofits seeking a safer recreational environment for children. But Missouri’s law — similar to those in roughly three-dozen other states – prohibits direct government aid to educational institutions that have a religious affiliation.

64 Comments - what are your thoughts?

  • FLChristyB says:

    Libs never cease to amaze me. They scream when anyone tried to stop the Gov. from using OUR tax dollars to fund the murder of babies, but God Forbid our taxes be used to help children in a religious school. It’s okay to fund immorality and evil, but not decency, morality and a good education for the future of our Country? Wacko’s!

  • Pete says:

    Amendment 1 to the Constitution of the United States.
    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
    That is the exact wording ratified on December 15, 1791.
    Some folks use the phrase “the establishment clause” when referring to the first half of the first sentence of the first amendment in order that they might ignore the last half of that same sentence. When both halves of the first sentence are read together it is obvious (as it was for the nations first 150+ years) that the government is constitutionally prohibited from any regulating authority over religion in any form. For the haters of the idea of a supreme deity, that direct understanding, along with several other constitutional freedoms became a focus of intense effort.

  • LJ says:

    In my local Catholic school a few years back, some funding was provided for extra reading help for some of the students. The school was forced to rent a BUS which it parked in the school yard in order to get the funding. Thats where the extra reading lessons took place. It was not permitted for the children to learn to read in a classroom with a cross hanging in it, apparently. This sort of contorted stupidity has frustrated citizens for years. Learning to read has nothing to do with religion.Its time to stop manufacturing issues which dont exist and cost us all more money. Those of you who fund the ACLU are part of the problem. Pathetic bunch, you have my pity.

  • pmbalele says:

    This church should allow all kids of different faiths including Jews, Catholics, Muslims, Pagans, Non-believers; Blacks and Whites.

    1. Pete says:

      It dos slick. Is that a problem???

      1. pmbalele says:

        How do you know? These religious freaks tell you one thing but act differently.

  • George Wirt says:

    How about we call it what it is instead of making it a political headline. And that would be support for the US CONSTITUTION!

  • David Stovall says:

    I heard Gorsuch asked the government attorney could firemen and policemen respond to the school grounds? I thought that was brilliant.

    1. The Redhawk says:

      Justice Gorsuch is about to drive a wooden STAKE in the black hearts of (D) NAZIS party FREAKS….Rumors have it that there seem to be another Opening in SCOTUS next JUNE…Can’t wait for another NUKE Action ..

  • Shelly Shannon says:

    There is no reason the church shouldn’t get this funding. Defund liberal colleges and give some of it to this church for the little ones. Booya! Kill two birds with one stone. Happy little urchins that haven’t yet been poluted by all the liberal crap. Yep, let them have the money. Go Gorsuch!

    1. bobnstuff says:

      As someone said earlier if it was a Mosques would you still be in a hurry to give them the money? Do you believe in the First Amendment? If a state wants to regulate where there tax dollars go should the federal government step in and say no? This is a very common law in our states.

    2. The Redhawk says:

      bulls EYE!! ooorahhh

  • motherluna says:

    what part of non-profit do people not understand? does not matter if it is a church, they are non-profit and a school under the guide lines.

    1. podunk1 says:

      Good point & good reason to fund “education” which is a TOTALLY separate mandate by statute, not Supreme Law. By that standard, Books, Supplies, and MUCH more would be granted to ANY educational cost on an equal per student basis (equal protection of LAW including statutes)… zero funding for secular religious things & indoctrination. That would comply with shall make no law (especially funding) for religious purposes. History is part of education, good and bad alike, with pure fact & zero indoctrination, but easily perverted, distorted, and used to divide and conquer by enemies within! Jihad and locust armies are very real historically, and that threat to freedom and humanity IS very real. Progressives are very busy using both strategies to destroy the Constitution and USA… HIGHEST ACTS OF TREASON. (Look up the definition of treason and the various other words synonymous with it). They’re capital crimes, of varying severity from death to censure… and the SUPREME AMENDMENT 14-3 says no judge or official shall hold ANY US office having engaged in insurrection, rebellion, or “comforting” enemies of the US which absolutely includes the Constitution!

      Teach the Constitution and especially the millions slaughtered by tyrants and jihadists who rule to the contrary and against the fundamental rules of 10 simple Commandments! If they offend us, where’s our moral compass and value to anything? Pit vipers are put to death because they are what they are, and will kill any who get in their way!

  • Patriot41 says:

    In a secular society, the distribution of tax revenues will always be disputed when it comes to funding religious ventures. It would seem that our government is willing to fund most non profit organizations with taxpayer funds, with the exception of religious organizations. Yet, it will fund political campaigns within it’s own foundation, religiously! Are we confused yet?

  • allanholtz says:

    What would people think if it were a Muslim group protesting to the Supreme Court for the funding instead of a Lutheran group? Supreme Court decisions are far reaching.

    1. Shelly Shannon says:

      They don’t have to. Colleges and high schools have set up prayer rooms for these Muslim students which in my opinion, in a matter of speaking, makes them a religious institution, and they still get funded. That would be my argument anyway.

  • McFerguson says:

    I hope the Court goes for the church kids in this case. After all, as much as the goofy secular progressives would like to oppose it, the right to the free expression of religion is a God given protected right and is recognized as such in the First Amendment of our Constitution.

    1. bobnstuff says:

      This isn’t about free expression of religion, it’s about free money to fix up church property. Isn’t it the liberals that keep giving away our tax dollars?

      1. Harry J Schaubel says:

        Yes but they’d rather it was used to build a mosque then anything for a Christian property.
        And the 1st Amendment says the gov’t shall not show a preference for one particular religion over another, unlike Obama who clearly demonstrated his preference for Islam.
        By this wording, they could donate equal amounts to each faith, like Christian, Catholic, & Islam. But there should be some kind of recompence for it. Maybe payback in a long-term, low interest type thing. And should also deal only with Secular areas, like parking lots, playgrounds, fencing and the like. But not the actual places of worship.
        And in this case it’s for the pre-schooler’s. I think they deserve a safe play where they can run and play and fall down, which they will, without getting hurt.

        1. bobnstuff says:

          Public money by law can’t be given to churches as a rule. Obama didn’t give funding to Mosques. In fact the President is very limited as to how he spends money, that power rests in the congress. Also there is no real fact that Obama supported Islam over any other religion.

          As far as resurfacing the playground, my grand daughters school is raising funds to get their play ground resurfaced because they can’t get public money to do it. It’s not in the budget. This is a public school. The PTA is doing a fund drive.

          1. We the SHEEPle says:

            The obama Creature said he’d ‘stand with the Muslims when push came to shove.’ (Do your homework BEFORE you agree or disagree. My words are factual.)

          2. McFerguson says:

            Absolutely true!

          3. bobnstuff says:

            No he didn’t, that’s just some of the haters made up lies.
            http://www.factcheck.org/2008/06/obamas-dreams-of-my-father/
            I do my home work.

          4. Harry J Schaubel says:

            You don’t believe he supported Muslims? How many did he admit UNVETTED to this country compared to how many Christians from the same regions? And please tell me the LAW that says the Gov’t can’t give money to a religious organization. The 1st Amendment says the Gov’t can NOT show preference to one religion over another. Where does it say it can’t help ALL equally & impartially?

          5. bobnstuff says:

            He admitted zero unvetted into this country. The vetting isn’t easy or perfect but it’s still done. It takes a lot for even a refuge to come here. The vast majority of immigrants are not Muslims. Right now the biggest problems are in the Muslim world so there are a lot of Muslim refugees right now. Most are not heading are way. We have in fact not taken our share and many other countries have proven mush more caring and giving then we have. For a so called Christian nation our actions are far from what Jesus teaches.

            The case in the SCOUS right now is about a law that says the government can’t give money to a Church. That’s what the case is about. Thomas Jefferson believe that there needed to be a wall between the church and the state.

          6. Harry J Schaubel says:

            Why is it that under his regime it became acceptable to denigrate the Christian Religion, but nobody better say anything against the Muslim or you were an islamophobe. You notice he NEVER wished anyone a Merry Christmas or Happy Easter.

          7. bobnstuff says:

            Sorry but there are a whole bunch of videos of Obama wishing people Merry Christmas and Happy Easter. If you check you will find the story about Obama finding Christ.
            http://www.newsweek.com/cover-story-barack-obamas-christian-journey-92611

        2. bobnstuff says:

          There aren’t really very many Mosques in this country or for that matter very many Muslims. These an average of less then 40 Mosques per state but since only about 7 Americans per 1000 are Muslims. As far as I can find not one dollar of tax money has gone to build Mosques in our country.

      2. Shelly Shannon says:

        I see your point, but it makes no sense to me because these colleges and High schools get funding when they set up prayer rooms for Muslims so they can pray 5 times a day? In a way that also makes them a religious institution. Does it not?

        1. bobnstuff says:

          You mean Public Schools and Public Colleges are getting funds. I think if you check the rooms they are setting up are not costing the schools anything and in the cases I have read about those rooms are being used by other religions as well for Bible Studies and and things like that. Wouldn’t it be great if Christians prayed five times a day.
          http://religionnews.com/2017/04/17/my-high-schools-muslim-prayer-room-was-a-lesson-in-religious-freedom-commentary/

          1. votedemout says:

            “the rooms they are setting up are not costing the schools anything “.

            Wrong!

            What funds were used to construct the buildings, what funds supply the utilities, what funds are used to maintain the facilities, what funds are used to clean the rooms, what funds are used to pay the employees who monitor the rooms??? Yes, that’s right taxpayer funds. Consistency Bobbie, consistency.

          2. bobnstuff says:

            The rooms are already there and used for other things, the electricity would be on no matter what was going on and those students would have someone monitoring them no matter what they were doing. In the same vane my local school doesn’t have a prayer room but the do have a bible study group that meets. I guess you are against that also since it take the same resources. I also guess you don’t think praying is important. Funny you are supporting spending money to fix a church’s playground because you see no problem with giving them money by complaining about public money being spent on a prayer room that costs much less. So should government money be spent on religious property improvement? If you do one you must under the first amendment do all.

          3. LJ says:

            The playground is part of a school. A very tiny portion of the day in any religious school is spent on”religion”. The rest of the time is spent as at any public school, producing educated productive citizens. In fact it is much cheaper to produce those citizens from private /religious schools. Paving a playground does nothing to advance a “state religion”. Time for libs to stop the manufactured hysteria on MANY subjects.

          4. bobnstuff says:

            It’s part of a private preschool. Here’s the problem. As part of the church property it is in fact giving money to the church. The law is clear that you can’t do that in most states. There are rules about this things. If it was a Hebrew school would you have the same stand? With the cuts to funding our public schools do we really have money for this kind of thing? As I have said even the public schools aren’t getting money for this kind of thing. They should hold a bake sale like every other school does. It sure isn’t the tax payers job to pay for it.

          5. We the SHEEPle says:

            Amen! We the SHEEPle have silently allowed our Enemies to all but banish Yahweh / God from OUR ‘once blessed America. We are losing our ‘Moral Compass’, trading it for a new objective, that of Complete Moral Bankruptcy! We simply don’t care anymore.
            We will pay a big price for this! Kick God out, His Blessings go with! Look around you. Our demise seems certain. Yahweh / God has to be pretty upset with us. We don’t seem to care about that either! I can’t imagine why? Can you?

      3. McFerguson says:

        No it isn’t, it’s about a secular activity engaged in by children on a playground. There is NO religious intent, and this particular playground should not be excluded simply because it’s part of church property within which religious practices are discussed. As far as our tax dollars are concerned, I’d rather the courts were far more concerned with verifying eligibility for EBT cards and establishing realistic expiration dates than punishing little children simply because a church owned the playground.

        1. bobnstuff says:

          If you want better checks on people getting EBT cards you need to tell the government to stop cutting the employees in the welfare offices to save money. At one time a case worker would have 200 cases as their casec load, to many but still they could check them from time to time and in some cases help those people get off welfare. Now those same people have over 1000 cases and they can’t even remember the names let along do follow ups.

          Why is the government even funding play ground repair? Around here private funds are raised for this kind of thing. Even the public playground raise their own money for things like this.

          1. McFerguson says:

            I don ‘t know if what you say about the shortages in the welfare offices is true, but I do know that the federal government is far too sloppy in the way they pass out taxpayers money. And there should be termination dates for individuals drawing free money, except for those who are physically or mentally unable to care for themselves. I also believe that any healthy person drawing unearned entitlements (welfare) should be required to work for that money. Ain’t nuthin’ free in this world, which would likely be a shocking truth to those who’ve lived off Uncle Sam for an untold number of months or years. We need to replace “welfare” with “workfare.” And you say?

          2. bobnstuff says:

            There is a lot of information about our welfare system. Things that you need to know are the EBT and most other welfare programs are run by the states not the federal government. There is a time limit on out right grants and there is a work requirement to get most services and has been since the 90’s. Clinton put in workfare.
            http://mashable.com/2015/07/27/welfare-myths-debunked/#v57BS_CyjZqC
            http://www.urban.org/urban-wire/ten-myth-busting-facts-about-welfare

          3. McFerguson says:

            Sorry, bobbyboy, Clinton may have signed the “workfare” bill, but the energy behind the bill was the GOP and its Speaker, Newt Gingrich. Slick Willie had far more important games to play, some even involved cigars. And while the states might run these programs, it’s federal legislation that provides the funds and rules under which they’re supposed to operate. Admittedly, it’s sloppy up and down the line since people tend to be careless with other people’s money, the fundamental problem with socialism.

          4. LJ says:

            Totally agree!

          5. We the SHEEPle says:

            If you or I operated our checkbook the way our CongressionalScumBags do, we’d be in prison! They are always in the red… overdrawn; writing against future expected income! Most of these CongressionalScumBags should be hanged!

  • mad max says:

    good for THE court! THE demoRATS r the WAR on American,long live President Trump! GOD bless the United States Of American!LIBERALISM Is It Mental Illness or Demonic Oppression?.

    1. bobnstuff says:

      I’m not sure this is a liberal vs conservative case. It is a first amendment case but the law wasn’t passed by liberals and it come down to freedom from government involvement in religion. Can and should tax dollars go to improving church property? If it was government funding for a new roof it wouldn’t even have gone to the court. No matter how you look at it it comes down to public money going to improve private property, plan and simple.

      1. a_goodtarheel1 says:

        Like the NEA?!

        1. bobnstuff says:

          The law in question was passed but Republicans. The question is simple, do we give public money to religious bodies. The law says no.

          1. David Stovall says:

            I think the government sets up prayer rooms for its favored religion.

          2. bobnstuff says:

            They set up prayer rooms for the people who asked for them and who pray. You do know that there are very few of these room in our country. As far as I can find less then a dozen total. There are a much greater number of prayer and bible study groups in our public schools.

          3. David Stovall says:

            Well, if it is just a few then it is OK. Crosses on the walls OK , if it is just a few.

          4. bobnstuff says:

            http://www.newsmax.com/FastFeatures/Muslim-Prayer-in-Schools-Religion-Students/2015/03/25/id/634403/
            http://www.cbn.com/cbnnews/us/2013/may/on-fire-for-god-public-school-bible-clubs-spread/?mobile=false
            When public schools make accommodations for people of faith everyone wins.

            Making accommodations is different them paying to fix church property. As I have said even the public schools are having to raise money for things like playgrounds.

          5. David Stovall says:

            When I went to school in the 40’s , we played in the dirt or on the grass. Big deal. The government has no money. It’s job is defend the country, control only certain commerce, very limited. Everything else shall be left to the states. We are way off the track.

          6. bobnstuff says:

            My Daughter is president of her children’s schools PTA and they are trying to raise money to fix the mud hole of a playground at their public school. Every time it rains it becomes a swamp and it rains 190 times a year in Pittsburgh.

          7. David Stovall says:

            Memphis has a lot of rain too. I remember moving recess to the gym or cafeteria. Federal money is not the only answer, and I am glad your daughter realizes that.

          8. bobnstuff says:

            A few years back the Pittsburgh Public school developed a summer school program that was a model joining of public and private funding. It was written up all over the country. Kids actually wanted to go to summer school. More then half the funds came from the private sector. Schools can no longer rely on just tax money to provide funds if they truly want to give excellent education’ Our local high school has astro turf on the football field, not one dime of tax payer money went to pay for it. It can be done but the parents must get behind it.

          9. David Stovall says:

            I like it.

          10. a_goodtarheel1 says:

            This is to improve a school, not add a bell tower to the church.

          11. bobnstuff says:

            It’s still value added, I didn’t make the law and if you take a straight reading of the first amendment you can’t do that.

          12. a_goodtarheel1 says:

            There is nothing in the first amendment about separation of church and state. That crap came about from a letter that the KKK lawyer FDR put on the SCOTUS, Hugo Black, wrote to the Danbury Baptists. It has been cited in cases, but it is not written in the constitution. The constitution protects the church from the state…not the reverse.

          13. bobnstuff says:

            You might want to check your facts on this.
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Everson_v._Board_of_Education
            Here is the case. It is established case law and is one of the things the justices will be taking into consideration.
            The Danbury Baptists letter was from Thomas Jefferson and was written in 1802.
            http://www.loc.gov/loc/lcib/9806/danbury.html

          14. We the SHEEPle says:

            The Amendment is usually misunderstood & misapplied.

            “The intent of the law is the law.” USSupCt -Legal Quotes.
            The intent was to prevent the government from forming a National Religion! That is all!
            The Constitution states nothing about separation from the state!

          15. a_goodtarheel1 says:

            Amen!

      2. David Stovall says:

        Then by that reasoning , as Gorsuch said, government firefighters, policemen , and ambulance service could not respond to private school grounds or private property. Sure is nice to have a logical justice.

        1. bobnstuff says:

          The Church grounds are private property so all the rules for private property apply.

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