Aniella Fields Asks About the Separation of Church & State

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In this article “U.S Supreme Court to hear Missouri case on state money for religious institutions” we are looking at a new case for a classical argument about the separation of church and state and how to define it. In Missouri there was a new program through the Missouri Department of Natural Resources that uses old tires for a softer ground for children’s playgrounds and when the Trinity Lutheran Church applied for the grant they were denied and reminded of the 1875 constitutional amendment which requires there be no state money spent in the aid of churches. The church sued and lost but the case is being taken to the Supreme Court where they will be looking at the “Blaine Amendments”, which many churches feel is an unfair amendment. The church argues that the program for the playground is neutral and claims the programs doesn’t promote religion. In the past the Blain amendment favors sectarian institutes aka protestant ones over catholic institutes. The Trinity Lutheran Church claims that this is a violation, as it doesn’t allow members the freedom to practice their particular religion. The case will be heard in the Supreme court late this year with a final result.

I believe this article is a clear example of how we are trying to make Religion and Politics evolve. In the US we supposedly have the “Freedom of Religion” but in truth as is clear of the results of the Blaine Amendments this hasn’t happened. In America we still favor Protestantism and only Protestantism even over Catholicism. While it is not always the case the majority of the time certain ethnic groups follow specific religions and these are the religions that are not getting benefits so this religious discrimination becomes pure ethnic discrimination. Like ethnicity religion is diverse since its hard to fully define religion and religion sometimes attaches to cultures. As we progress we must find solutions to these problems where sometimes there are unaffiliated programs that use religious buildings and other situations similar to what is happening with the Trinity Lutheran Church in Missouri. This case makes us really question what religion is and what we associate with religion.


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