The Supreme Court made two monumental and historic decisions affecting all Americans.
The first gave the green light to President Trump’s protective travel ban.
In the second, a victory for religious liberty, the court justices ruled Trinity Lutheran Church of Missouri was being unconstitutionally discriminated against by a government agency.
Let’s look at the travel ban decision first.
The Supreme Court ruled on the media and its hysteria on the travel ban. … and liberal activist judges who declared Trump’s travel ban on 6 lawless, terrorist-infested countries unconstitutional.
The court said: Wrong.
In fact, the decision was ruled “per curiam,” meaning it was rendered by a majority of the court, acting collectively and unanimously.
It’s a victory for:
- Stopping judicial activists
- For Trump exercising his presidential authority in foreign affairs
- For truth
- For the safety of you and your family
The Supreme Court said it will hear the full case, if needed, this fall.
The ban affects nationals from the following six countries with poor to non-existent vetting systems:
The ban excludes foreign nationals from entering the United States, except for:
- College students
- Workers recruited by firms in the U.S.
- Nationals who have blood relatives living in the U.S.
The media and the “Resist” movement created hysteria without fact or logic.
The liberal judicial activists acted unconstitutionally.
It’s a huge win.
A Stunning Win for Religious Liberty
What originally started as a simple request to resurface a playground has sent shockwaves throughout the country.
Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Missouri, argued that the state was violating the free exercise clause of the First Amendment (“No law … prohibiting the free exercise of religion”).
And Trinity won.
In this landmark Supreme Court decision, the biggest religious freedom case of the year, a 7-2 majority ruled the state cannot restrict a program of distributing recycled tire parts for playground surfaces from a church simply because it is a church.
It ruled the government “should treat children’s safety at religious schools the same as it does at non-religious schools.”
Trinity Lutheran Church did not seek any special benefits from Missouri. It sought only to be included on an equal basis in a state program available to all.
The Supreme Court rejected the arguments of liberals and Democrats like Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who think Christians should be excluded from any job or partnership with government.
It’s the kind of decision many evangelicals prayed for when justice Neil Gorsuch was picked for the nation’s highest court.
Old tire parts? Why does this case matter?
It matters because the Supreme Court recognizes the difference between a government establishing a religion and a government choosing not to penalize a religion.
Trinity Lutheran was excluded not because they didn’t meet the criteria for the program but simply because the Missouri Department of Natural Resources labeled them “a religious institution.”
Justice John Roberts noted in his opinion: It is true the “(Missouri Department of Natural Resources) has not criminalized the way Trinity Lutheran worships or told the church it cannot subscribe to a certain view of the gospel. But, as the department itself acknowledges, the free exercise clause protects against ‘indirect coercion or penalties on the free exercise of religion, not just outright prohibitions’.”
No reasonable person would conclude that giving excess tire fragments to a church or a synagogue or a mosque would constitute government recognition of that house of worship or its beliefs.
Instead, the state has an interest in making sure children are safe, and want to get the playground surfaces to where the children are.
Monday’s court decision is huge, in that it holds important implications for future religious liberty.
It’s a strong win for equal participation of religion, and free religious choice, in government benefits. This opens the door for:
- School vouchers
- Help for the homeless
- Aiding agencies such as the Dream Center, a Los Angeles church mission.
With this ruling, perhaps America is getting back on the right track.
What do you think? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your take on this ruling.
Read the Supreme Court transcript on the Trinity case here.