Will The Supreme Court Let Faith Make Children Unsafe?

Posted on May 6, 2016 In News

The following op-ed by Nathan Diament appeared in the New York Jewish Week:

Should all children’s playgrounds be made as safe as possible, or should some be denied safety improvements because of bigotry? This question is at the core of a case before the U.S. Supreme Court this year. We at the Orthodox Union argued to the justices that they must strike down an antiquated anti-religious amendment to state constitutions for the safety and well-being of America’s religious citizens.

The facts of the case before the high court are straightforward: The State of Missouri sponsors a program under which it pays for the resurfacing of children’s playgrounds with material made from recycled tires. Trinity Lutheran Church applied to have its playground resurfaced under this program and Missouri denied the application solely because the church is a religious institution.

The legal basis of the denial is the Missouri state constitution’s “Blaine Amendment” which states: “no money shall ever be taken from the public treasury, directly or indirectly, in aid of any church, sect or creed of religion…” and no government entity “…shall ever make an appropriation or pay from any public fund…anything in aid of any…church…”

Read more at the Jewish Week