In the Supreme Court ruling announced June 26 regarding Trinity Lutheran Church, Chief Justice Roberts wrote, “But the exclusion of Trinity Lutheran from a public benefit for which it is otherwise qualified, solely because it is a church, is odious to our Constitution all the same, and cannot stand.”
The key phrase is “for which it is otherwise qualified.” No. It’s a 1) private 2) religious school, two grounds under which it is disqualified for public taxpayer funding.
Similarly, the playground in question is church property, not public. The church, not the public taxpayer, is responsible for remodeling, maintaining and repairing it. Organize a walk-a-thon like the public school down the street. If the public schools cannot pay their teachers appropriately, buy textbooks, or maintain their grounds, why should that taxpayer money go to a private religious school?
Check out Jefferson’s letter to the Danbury Church in which he coins the phrase “separation of church and state.” The government is not encroaching on religious liberty; the church is encroaching on government function by advocating for the use of public funds for religious purposes.
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SCOTUS chose to ignore Jefferson’s wall of separation dating to 1801. Originalist indeed.
That is what is “odious,” Justice Roberts.
Richard Reuther, Pasco