The US Supreme Court has given a ruling important for upholding religious freedom when it stated that it ‘would be “constitutionally troublesome” for the court to attempt to decide what sort of activity is religious and what is not.’
This Supreme Court ruling was in response to employees of World Vision, a Christian development agency, disputing their dismissal from employment because they no longer believed in the divinity of Christ. The sacked employees claimed that World Vision was not a religious organisation.
First Things reports:
‘The majority opinion refused to address certain thorny questions, such as whether or not World Vision’s humanitarian work is an inherently religious activity. Judge O’Scannlain’s opinion said that it would be “constitutionally troublesome” for the court to attempt to decide what sort of activity is religious and what is not. When the employees alleged that World Vision is not a religious group because it offers aid to people regardless of their own religion, O’Scannalin chose to accept World Vision’s own assertion that “providing humanitarian aid to all in need, regardless of religious belief, is a tenet of its faith.”
Protect the Pope comment: This is an important decision for religious freedom in the US because it upholds the rights of Churches and religious organisations to maintain that adherence to doctrines is an essential condition of employment. It’s ludicrous for a Catholic school, university or charity to continue to employee a member of staff who rejects the doctrines and discipline of the Church. For example, a teacher of RE in a Catholic school who divorces and re-marries should either resign or be sacked for not upholding the teaching of the Church.