Religious or not? A lesson from Hosanna-Tabor Case

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Apr 13, 2012 Comments Off on Religious or not? A lesson from Hosanna-Tabor Case bernardo

I have had clients that come in and ask whether or not to keep something religious.  That is a personal choice.  However, the First Amendment protects religious beliefs and speech.  There are a lot of protections built into the law that protects religious organizations that are not also offered to secular organizations.  Courts are scared to touch religion.  If a decision is made to expel someone from the group and that decision is based on a bible reading.  As soon as a judge is considering opening the bible to see, which interpretation is accurate, they need to stop and think, “Wait a minute, I’m not trained for this!”  Religious organizations are exempt from many requirements of the law because we do not want state court judges interpreting religious texts.  The case of Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. EEOC, 132 S. Ct. 694 (2012) dealt with this very thing with the United States Supreme Court ruling that a Lutheran school affiliated association could refuse to rehire someone as a teacher even though the teacher could argue that the Americans with Disabilities Act was violated.  In other words, the Lutheran school’s rights to hire and fire teachers as a religious body trumped their duty not to discriminate.  That is powerful stuff.