This is a frightening (humanly speaking) yet not surprising (in light of our current administration and in light of God’s Word on the signs of the times) news story involving a Lutheran parochial school and church right here in Michigan (Redford). CNS News reports on this case and what our government’s position on it is – overstepping its jurisdiction to tell a church who its minister may be. All it takes is one “right” case and our ecclesiastical authorities according to God’s Word can be taken away. We can expect more of this in the future, regardless of who is president and in the Department of Justice. May God prepare us for those days of great tribulation, while giving us boldness to speak against this injustice.
Here is part of the news item; read the full story at the link above.
In yet another stunning attack on freedom of religion, President Barack Obama’s Justice Department asked the Supreme Court last week to give the federal government the power to tell a church who its ministers will be.
The case involves a former teacher at Lutheran school, who along with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is pushing a claim that a Lutheran congregation should be forced to restore her ministry position.
Americans United for Separation of Church and State and American Atheists, Inc. have filed briefs siding with the Obama administration against the church.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints, the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations, and the American Center for Law and Justice are among those who have filed briefs supporting the Lutherans.
In 1999, the Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School in Redford, Mich., hired Cheryl Perich to be a lay teacher on a one-year contract in its kindergarten.
The next year, Perich became a “called” teacher at the school after she became a commissioned minister in the church.
“To receive a call, a candidate must be selected by a local church congregation,” said a brief the church submitted to the Supreme Court that was prepared by lawyers at the Beckett Fund for Religious Liberty and Douglas Laycock of the University of Virginia Law School.
…The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod told the court in its brief that its views on the ministry and the settlement of disputes may not be “widely shared” or “widely understood.” “But,” the church said, “they have been the views of orthodox Lutherans for centuries.”
Acting Deputy Solicitor General Leondra Kruger told the court, during oral arguments, that the federal government should be able to trump the church on these decisions.
“Their submission is that the hiring and firing decisions with respect to parochial school teachers and with respect to priests is categorically off limits,” said Kruger. “And we think that that is a rule that is insufficiently attentive to the relative public and private interests at stake, interests that this court has repeatedly recognized are important in determining freedom of association claims.”
Kruger contended this did not mean the government could order the Catholic Church to ordain female priests. But, even then, according to her argument, it would be a matter of the government weighing “the relative public and private interests at stake.”