The is a Christian preschool that wanted to improve

The Trinity Lutheran
Church Child Learning Center is a Missouri preschool and daycare center, originally
established as a nonprofit organization, the Center later merged with Trinity
Lutheran Church and now operates under its auspices on church property, among
the facilities at the Center is a playground, which has a coarse pea gravel
surface beneath much of the play equipment (Did The Supreme Court Just Open The
Door For Public Money To Go To Religious Schools?”). The Trinity Lutheran
Church Learning Center is a Christian preschool that wanted to improve its
playground surface, which consisted of gravel and grass. To facilitate the
needed upgrades, the school applied to a state program in 2012 that provides
grants to use recycled shredded tires for a softer and safer playground
surface. Trinity Lutheran ranked fifth of 44 applicants based on overall quality
of the intended project, the number of people who would benefit from the
improved playground, and the quality of the school’s recycling education
programs.

            Despite the school’s high ranking, the state denied the
grant solely because it was associated with a church. The state used the Blaine
Amendment, a 19th century anti-Catholic and bigoted law that prohibits
religious organizations, such as a Florida prisoner ministry, a Catholic
orphanage and several religious schools, from participating in public programs.
Trinity
Lutheran sued the state of Missouri in 2013 for this blatant discrimination.
Becket, along with Stanford Professor Michael McConnell, submitted a
friend-of-the-court brief defending Trinity Lutheran’s right to participate in
the state’s tire recycling program on equal footing as all other applicants.
Trinity Lutheran, represented by Alliance Defending Freedom, has fought all the
way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which heard the case on April 19, 2017.eligious
schools, from participating in public programs (Trinity Lutheran Church V.
Comer”).

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            “The case focused on whether this decision conflicts with
the First Amendment of the United States Constitution, and specifically whether
Missouri was violating the free-exercise clause by preventing Trinity Lutheran
from participating in a secular, neutral aid program” (Green). In June 2017,
the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 7-2 that Missouri can’t discriminate against the
school in a program that provides shredded-tire resurfacing to make playgrounds
safer for kids. Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. delivered the opinion of the
7-2 majority, “the Court held that the Free Exercise Clause of the First
Amendment protected the freedom to practice religion and subjects laws that
burden religious practice to strict scrutiny, First Amendment precedent had
established that laws that deny an otherwise generally available benefit,
because of religious status are unconstitutional, though laws that are neutral
and generally applicable may be upheld even if they hamper religion, the
distinction was whether the law in question discriminates against some or all
religious beliefs.” (Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Inc. v. Comer.) “In
this case, there is no dispute that Trinity Lutheran is put to the choice
between being a church and receiving a government benefit,” wrote Roberts
(Green). He further explained that the rule is simple: No churches need apply.”
While this case concerns Missouri, many states have their own versions of the
constitutional provision Missouri used to deny money to Trinity Lutheran, they’re
often referred to as “Blaine amendments,” based on their historical grounding
in suspicion toward Catholics. Even though the facts of the case may seem
inconsequential, the difference between a few knees scraped on a rough
pea-gavel playground, the stakes of the decision were high, Roberts wrote. He
compared Missouri’s actions to 200-year-old efforts in places like Maryland to
prohibit certain individuals from running public office simply because of their
faith. “The result of the State’s policy is nothing so dramatic as the denial
of political office,” he wrote. “But the exclusion of Trinity Lutheran from a
public benefit for which it is otherwise qualified, solely because it is a
church, is odious to our Constitution all the same, and cannot stand.”

            In my own opinion about the case and
supported by Supreme Court of Justice of the United States ruling which further
explained that the state violated the First Amendment by denying a public benefits
to a religious organization shows the sign of discrimination, because churches
are classified as charitable organizations and many charitable organizations
also benefits from secular programs, therefore singling out churches to be
ineligible for such grants because of their religious backgrounds is totally
wrong and biased, because even if the charitable organizations doesn’t pay
taxes, the people who either work for them or their church members do pay taxes
which makes me think that they are fully entitled to enjoy the state benefits.

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