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Collins Statement on SCOTUS Ruling Protecting Faith-based Organizations

Jul 8, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) today applauded the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in the case of Our Lady of Guadalupe School v. Morrissey-Berru, ruling that the First Amendment protects faith-based institutions’ right to decide who is – or is not – qualified to teach the faith.

“I am encouraged by the Supreme Court’s ruling today which reaffirms the important role religious education plays in our country. As a pastor, I believe our religious institutions should be in charge of deciding who teaches children about faith – not the government. While some wish to see the complete secularization of our society, our Constitution clearly protects religious freedom, including the freedom of a religious school to employ individuals that share their religious beliefs. I’m glad the Supreme Court ruled to uphold the ability of faith-based institutions to make religiously driven employment decisions, as is protected under the First Amendment.”

Earlier this year, Reps. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) and Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.) joined Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) in leading an amicus brief supporting Our Lady of Guadalupe School.

From the brief:

“The teaching of religious principles and customs is at the very core of faith for many, if not most, religions. Yet in the two opinions under review, the Ninth Circuit barely addressed the importance of this aspect of religion. Quite to the contrary, the court minimized the significance of “teaching from a book”—a striking position given that most of the world’s major religions consider the teachings found in holy books to be the very essence of their faith.”

“In Hosanna-Tabor, this Court unanimously held that a ministerial exception under the Religion Clauses exists. In this case, the Court should take the opportunity to hold that the exception includes those who execute the profound duty of teaching the faith to the next generation, whether they be called priest, pastor, imam, rabbi, teacher, or nothing at all. Anything less would imperil the religious pluralism of the United States.”