The highest court in the land ruled last month in favor of Trinity Lutheran Church, which had sought to participate in a state program in Missouri that helps schools resurface their playgrounds with scrap rubber. The Trinity Lutheran Church Child Learning Center, a preschool and daycare center that operates on church property, was barred from the state grant program because of its religious association and sued based on First Amendment grounds.
“We’ve never had this in the history of the Supreme Court before,” Alexander said of the decision, calling it a “bombshell case” for religious freedom.
Denying the school’s access to public resources was similar to saying that the police force couldn’t protect the school because a church operates it, Alexander asserted. Churches can’t use public funds to purchase Bibles or otherwise promote religion, but the precedent has been set for them to use state resources for non-religious functions.
Alexander explained that the court battles may just be starting since the Lutheran vs. Comer decision sets up a clash between the Constitution and state Blaine Amendments, which ban schools from using public funds if they have religious affiliations.