Can state government discriminate against families and schools based on religion? On Fox News @ Night’s “Night Court,” David C. Gibbs III covered the key legal arguments every Christian parent and grandparent need to know—no matter their students’ educational environment. Enjoy the clear, compelling insights David shared with Shannon Bream and the rest of America going into Labor Day Weekend.
Several Maine families are suing to overturn their state’s tuition ban on sending their children to the school of their choice—if the school happens to be religious.
David forcefully summarized the problem with the current law in rebutting a criminal attorney who supports the ban. “The Supreme Court really nailed this issue. The ‘separation of church and state’ does not allow the government to be hostile toward religion.”
The legal requirement under the Constitution’s neutrality
“Parents being told you can choose any school except a religious school... is like saying you can select any school as long as it is based on race or other criteria. That is constitutionally repugnant! This type of religious discrimination needs to be stopped!”
For towns that have no high school, public funds are made available for students to attend a nearby public or private school. However, the Maine Department of Education prohibits towns from reimbursing religious schools.
The restriction violates the 2017 United States Supreme Court decision Trinity Lutheran v. Comer in which the 7-2 majority confirmed that the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment protects against “indirect coercion or penalties on the free exercise of religion, not just outright prohibitions.”
Chief Justice Roberts powerfully summarized the majority opinion, “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 . . . and cannot stand.”
The same principle applies here, and as David argued in his closing remarks, “Having no religion is a religion.” The Establishment Clause of the First Amendment requires the federal government to refrain from making a formal, favored national religion—including anti-religion.
When you stand with the National Center for Life and Liberty, you stand up for the religious freedom of every student, coach, and teacher; every employee, employer, and owner; and every church attendee, staff member, and leader. Thank you for your ongoing prayers and support.