Friday, August 19, 2011

Could The Obama Administration Be More Hostile to Religious Freedom than the ACLU?

The Obama administration has been more hostile towards religious freedom than any other administration in my lifetime.  The case of Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. EEOC focuses on the Ministerial Exception. Obama has targeted the Ministerial Exception which is applicable to religious organizations. 

From The National Catholic Register Patrick Archbold points out that the "Ministerial Exception allows for religious organizations 'to decide for themselves, free from state interference, matters of church government as well as those of faith and doctrine.' "

Based on this right, twelve federal circuits have recognized the “ministerial exception.” (The Federal Circuit has no jurisdiction over cases that could present the issue.) The ministerial exception bars lawsuits that interfere in the relationship between a religious organization and employees who perform religious functions — most obviously, lawsuits seeking to compel a religious organization to reinstate such an employee or seeking to impose monetary liability for the selection of such employees. As the first court adopting the ministerial exception explained: “The relationship between an organized church and its ministers is its lifeblood”; allowing the state to interfere in that relationship — effectively allowing judges and juries to pick ministers — would produce “the very opposite of that separation of church and State contemplated by the First Amendment.” McClure v. Salvation Army, 460 F.2d 553, 558, 560 (5th Cir. 1972).

The question which was raised in the Hosanna case was whether protections from discrimination lawsuits would extend to employees and whether or not they could be fired for religious reasons under the exception or not.  Apparently the Obama administration's DOJ has raised the stakes. The DOJ goes so far to say that there should not be a Ministerial Objection, at all.

The Obama administration is so far off the rails that even the militant secularists at Americans United For Separation of Church and State and the ACLU didn't agree the DOJ's argument. Ed Whelan writes:

DOJ’s position — which is even more hostile to the ministerial exemption than the amicus brief filed by Americans United for Separation of Church and State and the ACLU — thus threatens to expose churches and other religious institutions to a broad array of employment-discrimination claims that the ministerial-exception has long shielded them from. 

Obama certainly is "fundamentally transforming" America into something like Communist China. We need to stop Obama and his minions from harming America any more than they already have. He needs to be booted out of office in 2012. I think the Obama administration is more of a threat to our religious freedom than any other entity in America. 

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