Hollman: Court ignores distinct nature of churches in Trinity Lutheran Church decision 

For Immediate Release: June 26, 2017
Media contact: Cherilyn Crowe / ccrowe@BJConline.org / Cell: 202-670-5877 / Office:  202-544-4226

WASHINGTON – Today, the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty responded to the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia v. Comer.

The following statement is from Holly Hollman, general counsel of the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty:  

“The U.S. Supreme Court today rejects an important aspect of America’s history of protecting religious liberty. By treating a state ban on aid to churches as a mark of discrimination, the Court’s decision upends precedent and adds confusion to the law. 

While claiming to stand up for churches, the Court ignores their distinct nature as centers of religious exercise. ‘No aid’ provisions reflect the hard-fought battles of Baptists and other religious dissenters that abolished government controls over religion and secured church autonomy. 

The decision does not create a free exercise right to government funding of religion, but it unnecessarily blurs the line that ensures religion flourishes on its own. ”

The Baptist Joint Committee filed a brief in the case supporting the state of Missouri, explaining how its constitutional ban on state funding of religion protects religion.

More details on the case, including videos wrapping up the oral argument, are available at BJConline.org/TrinityLutheran.

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Based in Washington, D.C., the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty is an 81-year-old religiously based organization working to defend religious freedom for all people and protect the institutional separation of church and state in the historic Baptist tradition.