January 12, 2012 – The United States Supreme Court, in an opinion entitled Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, has issued one of the most important religion clause cases of the last 50 years. In Hossana-Tabor, the Court affirms the right of churches to make employment decisions without government interference.
Already being deemed one of the most important religious freedom cases of this decade, the Court determined that the government may not may not dictate who a church selects as its religious leaders.
Rev. Rob Schenck, lead missionary of Faith and Action, said regarding this historic decision, “”This opinion of the highest court is a welcome and refreshing affirmation of the literally sacrosanct freedom of Americans to exercise our faith without government interference. It should also cause a recalibration of the government’s attitude toward churches, toward any religious body, and that body’s sole authority to determine who is called to serve in its name. This ruling unequivocally sets the boundaries of the state at the church door. It’s about time.”
Faith and Action has consistently expressed thanks to the Supreme Court in those cases where they acted to preserve our historic and constitutional freedom from state encroachment. We are pleased to see a unanimous Court recognize again those freedoms.
According to Congressman Randy Forbes of Virginia, “[This] unanimous Supreme Court ruling reaffirms our nation’s historical, religious and legal heritage in upholding the right of churches to select leaders who instruct their faithful, whether from the church pulpit or the classroom podium, based on religious conviction rather than government fiat.”