By Roger Drinnon
As part of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod’s “Free to be Faithful” initiative, attorney Erik Stanley will be on kfuo.org at 2:30 p.m. Central time March 16 to discuss the religious discrimination case Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia v. Pauley.
The U.S. Supreme Court announced in January that it will hear the case, which involves an LCMS church preschool, to determine if a state’s barring of the church from a government aid program is unconstitutional.
Stanley is senior legal counsel and director of the Church Project for Alliance Defending Freedom, which is representing Trinity Lutheran Church in Columbia, Mo. The LCMS is not a party to the litigation.
The case came about after Trinity sought to participate in the 2012 Playground Scrap Tire Surface Material Grant Program to resurface its playgrounds with the safer, recycled tire products provided by the supposedly neutral program.
“Children’s safety is just as important on church daycare playgrounds as it is on other daycare playgrounds,” Stanley said in a recent ADF press release. “Missouri and every state should understand that the U.S. Constitution prohibits religious hostility, which is what Missouri exhibited when it denied Trinity Lutheran’s scrap-tire grant application. This case has huge implications for state constitutional provisions across the nation that treat religious Americans and organizations as inferiors solely because of their religious identity.”
See a related story: Supreme Court to hear ‘hostility’ case involving church playground.
Listen to a related Worldwide KFUO broadcast: March 5 World Lutheran News: “The Trinity Lutheran Case.”
Roger Drinnon (firstname.lastname@example.org) is manager of Editorial Services for LCMS Communications.
Posted March 11, 2016