Supreme ruling on Christian controversy causing serious ripples

March 19, 2023
World Net Daily

This story was originally published by the WND News Center.

The Dobbs decision by the U.S. Supreme Court last year will be in news reports for years. It's because the 6-3 decision struck down the faulty 1973 ruling in Roe that created a national right to abortion.  Now people, through their state governments, are allowed to regulate the lucrative abortion industry.

However, a new analysis from PJMedia explains there's another decision, this one unanimous, that is "more important."

It explained, "As important as Dobbs surely is, Shurtleff restored the right of every American to practice and express their religious beliefs, as guaranteed by the First Amendment."

It was Liberty Counsel that fought to battle, and chairman Mat Staver noted, "This 9-0 decision from the Supreme Court involving the Christian flag continues to have an impact across the nation. The clear message from the Supreme Court is that government must not discriminate based on viewpoint. The government cannot favor one viewpoint and censor another and cannot censor religious viewpoints under the guise of government speech. Any governments that are ignoring this ruling are setting themselves up for potential lawsuits."

The analysis explained the facts of Shurtleff were simple: "Boston city officials barred the display of a flag bearing a Christian message in a square that for decades had welcomed the flags of a wide spectrum of causes, movements, and organizations. They did so because the application submitted by the sponsoring group referred to it as a 'Christian flag.'"

The conclusion was more than an affirmation of the First Amendment, the report said.

It reversed the longstanding "Lemon Test" from 1973 that had been used over and over to limit religious speech.

"As Anne Howe on Scotus Blog explained following the Court’s Kennedy v. Bremerton School District decision, the Lemon test was used for decades by the court 'to decide that a law or practice will pass constitutional muster if it has a secular purpose, its principal effect does not advance or inhibit religion, and it does not create an 'excessive entanglement with religion,''" the report said.

Among the results? The high court restored to his position Bremerton, Washington, high football coach Joseph Kennedy who had been fired for praying on the field after games.

The court, at that time, said, "In fact, just this term, the court unanimously rejected a city’s attempt to censor religious speech based on Lemon and the endorsement test."

Liberty Counsel explained the result is that government shall not discriminate against religious viewpoints whether expressed in speech, symbols, displays, or performances, and public schools must permit after school religious student clubs the same access they allow similar secular clubs.

Also, churches can rent public schools for worship services, and the Establishment Clause now must be interpreted "according to its historical intent, all the cases that relied on the Lemon test are no longer good law, including cases that struck down prayer, Ten Commandments, Nativity displays or other religious symbols, religious performances, religious speech and expression, rental of public school facilities for church services when other secular use is permitted, student aid programs, and much more."

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