Anti-religious Blaine goes before Supreme Court

Wednesday, April 19, 2017
Charlie Butts (

First Amendment (Bill of Rights)The U.S. Supreme Court is hearing arguments today in a case involving controversial Blaine Amendments.

The case involves Trinity Lutheran Church in Columbia, Missouri, which wanted to use scrap tires from a state program for schools to replace its gravel-covered playground and make it safer for children. 

Becket attorney Hannah Smith says the state rejected the application because Trinity is a religious institution.

“That's blatantly unconstitutional,” Smith tells OneNewsNow. “The children who play on the Trinity Lutheran preschool playground are just as important as any other children in the state of Missouri, and the state shouldn't be discriminating against them just because they attend a preschool that's run by a church.”

Missouri is one of 38 states that have Blaine Amendments, many of them added to state constitutions as large groups of Catholics immigrated to the U.S. in the late 1800s. 

children playing on swingNamed for U.S. Congressman James G. Blaine, the laws prohibit the use of state funds at “sectarian” schools. 

“Today these laws are used to discriminate against all religious groups,” Smith says. “They are used to deny minorities and low-income families access to basic government services. This happens in cases involving textbooks, for example, and special needs education. But they're also used to deny funding for successful programs for prisoners trying to reenter society.”

The state argues that providing grants to a religious school would mean government entanglement in religion but Becket argues that providing a grant to a Christian preschool for playground resurfacing doesn’t represent government endorsement of religion.

Both arguments will be made today before the nation's highest court. 

Consider Supporting Us?

The staff at strives daily to bring you news from a biblical perspective. If you benefit from this platform and want others to know about it please consider a generous gift today.



We moderate all reader comments, usually within 24 hours of posting (longer on weekends). Please limit your comment to 300 words or less and ensure it addresses the article - NOT another reader's comments. Comments that contain a link (URL), an inordinate number of words in ALL CAPS, rude remarks directed at other readers, or profanity/vulgarity will not be approved. More details
Trump vows to fight but bureaucracy vows to block

judge banging gavelA former U.S. Justice Department attorney says it won't be so easy for the Trump-led DOJ to defeat a federal judge's order that blocked the President's plan to withhold funds from "sanctuary cities."