SCOTUS roofWritten by Don Byrd

The Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty has filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court opposing government funding of churches. The brief was filed in the case of Trinity Lutheran Church v. Pauley, a suit concerning the denial of Missouri taxpayer funds to Trinity Lutheran Church for playground improvement.

Even if the court finds that federal law allows such funding with the right safeguards in place, the state of Missouri, the brief argues, should be permitted to prohibit grants to churches in an effort to maintain the separation of church and state.

Watch the BJC’s Holly Hollman explain the case and the brief in a video at the BJC’s Trinity Lutheran resource page.

Here is an excerpt from the brief:

In this case, Missouri certainly does not prevent the Trinity Lutheran Church from building, improving, or operating its facilities consistent with its religious calling. Nor does it prevent the Church from having a playground or a preschool, and operating them consistently with its ministry priorities and community outreach efforts. Missouri is simply refusing to fund a capital improvement project for the Church, consistent with its three bright-line constitutional provisions, which are similar to provisions found in most other states’ constitutions as well. It would profoundly upend our constitutional history, state and federal, to require Missouri to fund the improvement of church property.

More to come on this case and the BJC’s brief. See the Trinity Lutheran resource page for more info.