High court backs church in public benefits case

By Tom Strode - Posted at Baptist Press:

WASHINGTON (BP) -- The U.S. Supreme Court struck a blow Monday (June 26) for the freedom of churches to participate in government programs with secular purposes.

Seven of the high court's nine justices agreed the state of Missouri violated a church's right to exercise its faith freely by barring it from participating in a government-run, playground-resurfacing program. In its opinion, the court said excluding Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia "from a public benefit for which it is otherwise qualified, solely because it is a church, is odious" to the U.S. Constitution

Religious freedom advocates applauded the ruling.

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