By Brian Kaylor / Word&Way

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The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear a case on church-state issues that originated in Missouri. To learn more about the case, Word&Way editor Brian Kaylor interviewed Holly Hollman, general counsel and associate executive director of the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty.

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear a case, Trinity Lutheran Church v. Pauley, that originated in Missouri. What’s the case about?

It’s a funding case that arises out of an effort by Missouri’s natural resources department to reduce landfill waste. There is a state program that awards a limited number of monetary grants to organizations that make playground improvements using recycled tires. Trinity Lutheran Church, which operates a preschool ministry, applied for the money to improve its playground. After the application was denied, the church sued the state.


Could you summarize your key arguments in the brief?

The BJC brief reviews the Founders’ fight to avoid tax support for churches in the United States, discussing the historical fight for disestablishment that was led by Baptists and other religious dissenters. It reminds the Court that the fight was about making sure there is no government establishment of religion, which ensures that churches would be funded through voluntary offerings of adherents. …

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