by Bob Unruh
An appeals court decision that barred high school students from holding their graduation ceremony at a church building shows “hostility” toward religion and should be reversed by the U.S. Supreme Court, because it violates the U.S. Constitution, charges a team of legal experts.
The Alliance Defending Freedom says the ruling by the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals “mandates hostility to religion and puts the free exercise rights of students at risk.”
“Church buildings should not be treated like toxic warehouses simply because they normally house religious activities. That has never been the intent of the First Amendment,” said ADF Senior Counsel David Cortman. “On the contrary, as the judges who dissented on the 7th Circuit’s opinion said, this opinion clearly exhibits an unconstitutional hostility toward religion. The government isn’t being neutral toward religion when it treats it worse.”
The dispute arose over a plan by high school seniors in the Elmbrook, Wis., School District to hold graduation ceremonies in a facility superior to their cramped school gym, which is not air conditioned and has wooden benches.
They found an alternative at the nearby Elmbrook Church, which could “easily accommodate all of their guests (even those with disabilities) and offered amenities like cushioned seating, free parking and temperature control.” Read More: