The Lutheran pre-school before the Supreme Court

Once again, a congregation of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod is appearing before the Supreme Court in a religious liberty case.  First there was Hosanna-Tabor Lutheran Church successfully arguing that it should be able to define who its ministers are, without being subject to discrimination complaints.  Now, as we blogged about. Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Missouri, is arguing that its preschool should have not been denied a state grant to make its playground safer just because it is a religious institution.

There is a good story about the background of the Trinity pre-school case in the Kansas City Star, excerpted and linked after the jump. [Read more…]

Christian pharmacists must stock abortifacients

A Christian-owned pharmacy chain refuses to stock “emergency contraception” drugs on the grounds that they cause abortion.  The state of Washington wants to compel the chain to carry the drugs, even though that would violate the owner’s religious beliefs.  The case would seem to be similar to that of Hobby Lobby, which won a ruling from the Supreme Court allowing it to opt out of Obamacare requirements.  But this time the Supreme Court refused to hear the case.  The pharmacies will have to sell the products.

In addition to the pro-life and religious liberty issues, I would think there would be business liberty issues.  Should the government really be able to mandate what products a retailer has to stock? [Read more…]

Supreme Court’s new pro-abortion decision

Some states have imposed regulations on abortion clinics–such as requiring abortionists to have admitting privileges at local hospitals and making the clinics meet the standards for outpatient surgery–that have been shutting them down, grisly hell-holes that they are.  But now the Supreme Court has overturned those health and safety regulations, ruling, 5-3, that they amount to an unconstitutional barrier to a woman’s right to an abortion. [Read more…]

Supreme Court may have a solution for Obamacare mandate

The Supreme Court unanimously agreed to send the lawsuit from religious organizations objecting to the Obamacare contraceptive requirement back to a lower court.  Apparently, the justices think they have found a solution that would prevent the religious groups from feeling “complicit in sin” by notifying the government about their objections, so as to force their insurance companies to provide the coverage for free.  The solution seems to be (this hasn’t been made explicit) to have the employees, rather than the organization, ask for the coverage. [Read more…]

Supreme Court to rule on sinning vs. causing others to sin

Tomorrow the short-handed Supreme Court will hear arguments on the case brought by the Little Sisters of the Poor on whether they should be forced to go through the paperwork so that their employees can get free contraception and abortifacients under Obamacare.

The government says that the Roman Catholic nuns aren’t being forced to provide contraception.  Rather, they just have to declare that they are opting out so that their insurance company can provide the services for free.  Since they aren’t paying for the pills and devices, argues the government, they aren’t violating their religious beliefs.

But that shows complete ignorance of Roman Catholic moral theology.  For one thing, the morality of an action depends, in part, on the intention.  In this case, the intention of filing the paperwork would be to let employees commit a grave sin.  Also, it isn’t just sinful if an individual does something wrong.  Causing someone else to sin can be even worse. [Read more…]

The new Supreme Court nominee

President Obama nominated Merrick Garland to take the late Antonin Scalia’s slot on the Supreme Court.  Garland is a well-regarded Appeals Court judge, clearly well-qualified and with a reputation for moderation.

Republicans in Congress are refusing to even consider him, insisting that any appointment should wait until after the presidential election.

But couldn’t we expect Hillary Clinton to nominate someone even more liberal?  And who would Trump nominate?  His pro-abortion sister, as he said he might?  Also, pundits are now saying that there is now a good chance that in an anti-Trump landslide Republicans might lose the Senate.  Republicans might do a lot worse than Garland.

Obama is obviously proposing Garland as a safe choice and a way to coax Republicans into allowing him his appointment.  And to look pettily partisan if they oppose a well-qualified candidate with the full panoply of opposition research and personal attacks, as is planned.

Republicans should just praise the nominee but stand on the principle of letting the next president choose.

[Read more…]