Statements made this week by Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch in the case of Trinity Lutheran Church Inc. v. Comer suggested that he intended to vote in favor of religious liberty, would which be a huge victory for the millions of Christians across the nation.
This particular case concerned a Christian preschool in Missouri that was denied state funds, because of its religious affiliation, from an aid program to improve a playground. After being denied the funds, Trinity Lutheran Church filed suit against the state, arguing that the denial amounted to a double standard.
The case eventually made its way to the Supreme Court, where this week Justice Gorsuch remarked about the dichotomy created by the church being denied funds from “selective government programs” while government-funded police officers and firefighters were allowed to aid church-affiliated schools as part of “general programs.”
“How is it that discrimination on the basis of religious exercise is better in selective government programs than general programs?” he asked, after which he asked whether the court could “draw the line between selective and general.”
“Well, discrimination on the basis of status of religion, there’s no line-drawing problem there,” he added. “We know that’s happened in this case, right?”
According to Slate, by making these remarks Gorsuch “essentially tipped his hand” by making it clear that in his estimate, “Missouri’s refusal to fund Trinity Lutheran’s new playground is religious discrimination.”
Of course, a vote among the justices must occur for Gorsuch’s true inclination to be apparent, but judging by the statements he made this week and by his past record, the odds are in favor of him ruling for Trinity Lutheran Church.
In fact, the odds are in favor of a majority of the court ruling in the church’s favor, as noted by Fox News.
It should be noted, however, that the ruling will ultimately be irrelevant to the church, since Republican Gov. Eric Greitens reportedly decided last week to change his state’s policy and permit religious institutions to participate in the aforementioned aid program.
Here’s the kicker, though: A ruling in the church’s favor would nevertheless set a major precedent “limit(ing) the government’s ability to deny taxpayer money to discriminatory religious groups,” according to Slate.
And that would mean winning “bigly” for Christians throughout the nation.
Please share this story on Facebook and Twitter and let us know what ruling you think Justice Neil Gorsuch will make in this case.
What do you think about Gorsuch’s statements? Scroll down to comment below!