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SCOTUS Decides Important Religious Freedom Case

We discussed the case of Hosanna-Tabor v. EEOC a few times last year. This was a case deciding whether a church could fire a religious employee on religious grounds. It was a messy case for a number of reasons but the most surprising and appalling thing about it was the approach that Obama’s Justice Department took.

As our Adam Freedman wrote:

The legal issue is …

  1. Sisyphus

    Another stinging, ignominious defeat for the Almighty Church of the Holder.

  2. DocJay

    Great. Thanks Mollie. This is indeed a critical decision and a slap down for the most anti American DOJ ever.

  3. Mel Foil

    Most churches, by their nature, are undemocratic and judgmental. If you can’t live with that, don’t get involved with them in the first place. By the act of suing the Church, without bothering to go through the internal process, the teacher was determined to have insufficient Christian humility–a fair conclusion by their standards.

  4. genferei

    The decision is here (PDF).

  5. Brian Clendinen

     

     So even a die hard socialist and former employees of Holders thought he went to far. If this had been the Bush admin this is all we would hear about for the next week beside primary coverage on NPR, the major Networks and Cable.

     

  6. dogsbody

    Thanks be to God.  Of course, the Obamabots will try again.  Another reason to vote GOP even if the nominee isn’t quite what the doctor ordered.

  7. Christopher Esget
    etoiledunord: Most churches, by their nature, are undemocratic and judgmental. 

    What an astonishing thing to say. Are you at all familiar with church polity in indigenous American churches? A great many churches are extremely democratic. (I’m not saying it’s a good thing, by the way.)

  8. Paul A. Rahe
    C

    This is very good news, indeed — an obstacle to governmental intrusiveness, and a reassertion of the public-private distinction in one crucial sphere. The unanimity of the court is quite heartening.

  9. Mel Foil
    Christopher Esget

    etoiledunord: Most churches, by their nature, are undemocratic and judgmental. 

    What an astonishing thing to say. Are you at all familiar with church polity in indigenous American churches? A great many churches are extremely democratic. (I’m not saying it’s a good thing, by the way.) · Jan 11 at 9:17am

    I was a member of a democratic church once. That’s why I left.

  10. Douglas

    I couldn’t resist taking a peek over at the HuffPuff and WaPo comments section. As expected, plenty of bile from Liberals. “Tax the churches!” seems to be the biggest rant. I’m laughing at them.

  11. Jan-Michael Rives

    The need for “ministerial exception” just emphasizes how stupid and intrusive the anti-discrimination laws are. Businesses should be able to fire or refuse to hire for any reason or no reason at all. How else can you run a Hooters?

  12. Christopher Esget
    etoiledunord

    I was a member of a democratic church once. That’s why I left. · Jan 11 at 9:23am

    So, are you saying that church was an anomaly? I suppose we’re all shaped by our own experiences; my church body is intensely democratic, on both the congregational and national levels. (In my view it leads to many problems; but then, hierarchy hasn’t exactly saved the ECUSA from error…)

  13. Fredösphere

    I’m very glad, and I believe the exemption should not be limited at all. At my church, one of the finest evangelists we’ve ever had was a man who worked as the custodian for many years. He was definitely not a pastor who had missed his calling; custodial work suited him fine, and dovetailed perfectly with his spiritual gift. The idea that a church may not be biased in favor of hiring someone like him is ridiculous.

  14. Mama Toad
    Christopher Esget

    etoiledunord

    I was a member of a democratic church once. That’s why I left. · Jan 11 at 9:23am

    So, are you saying that church was an anomaly? I suppose we’re all shaped by our own experiences; my church body is intensely democratic, on both the congregational and national levels. (In my view it leads to many problems; but then, hierarchy hasn’t exactly saved the ECUSA from error…) · Jan 11 at 9:30am

    Maybe this is fodder for a whole new thread, but I think the idea of a democratic church is an oxymoron, since democracy means rule by the people, and a church should be founded upon God’s rule. A democratic society of believers can exist, but not a democratic church. As an unrepentant Catholic, I’m all for hierarchy.

  15. Christopher Esget
    Mama Toad

    Maybe this is fodder for a whole new thread, but I think the idea of a democratic church is an oxymoron, since democracy means rule by the people, and a church should be founded upon God’s rule. A democratic society of believers can exist, but not a democratic church. As an unrepentant Catholic, I’m all for hierarchy. · Jan 11 at 9:46am

    It certainly could be an entirely separate discussion. I agree with you for the most part. The problem is when the hierarchy rebels against God’s rule. But then, you probably would expect a Lutheran pastor to say that. ;)

  16. raycon and lindacon
    Not JMR: The need for “ministerial exception” just emphasizes how stupid and intrusive the anti-discrimination laws are. Businesses should be able to fire or refuse to hire for any reason or no reason at all. How else can you run a Hooters? · Jan 11 at 9:27am

    Does the comparison between running a church and running a Hooters have any more parallels?

  17. katievs

    “Hosanna vs. Tabor” sounds like the name for a freedom of religion court case in a Dickens novel.

  18. tabula rasa
    Mama Toad

    Maybe this is fodder for a whole new thread, but I think the idea of a democratic church is an oxymoron, since democracy means rule by the people, and a church should be founded upon God’s rule. A democratic society of believers can exist, but not a democratic church. As an unrepentant Catholic, I’m all for hierarchy. · Jan 11 at 9:46am

    Excellent decision–nice slap-down at our out-of-touch President and AG.

    From a Mormon perspective, I too am all for hierarchy.

  19. tabula rasa
    katievs: “Hosanna vs. Tabor” sounds like the name for a freedom of religion court case in a Dickens novel. · Jan 11 at 10:11am

    Actually the name of the case is Hosanna-Tabor Lutheran Evangelical Church v. EEOC.  A little less Dickensian.

    Another little twist is that Kagan and Alito joined together in a concurring opinion. That doesn’t happen very often.

  20. katievs
    tabula rasa

    katievs: “Hosanna vs. Tabor” sounds like the name for a freedom of religion court case in a Dickens novel. · Jan 11 at 10:11am

    Actually the name of the case is Hosanna-Tabor Lutheran Evangelical Church v. EEOC.  A little less Dickensian.

    I should have known it was too good to be true.

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