Supreme Court rejects Obama administration arguments in 'most important' religious freedom case

Return To Article
Add a comment
  • Flying Finn Murray, UT
    Jan. 16, 2012 12:09 p.m.

    Pagan writes "Besides, while the ruling may be final (or, appealed, as conservatives have shown) the issue is far, far from over."

    Sorry but the unanimous ruling is final. Looks like religion won one.

  • Hawkeye79 Iowa City, IA
    Jan. 15, 2012 6:48 a.m.


    Guess whose administration argued to the court that the religious exception should not be adhered to. Yes, the executive branch can try to convince the courts to rule a certain way.

  • Hawkeye79 Iowa City, IA
    Jan. 15, 2012 6:45 a.m.

    Hi Pagan,

    For someone who talks so much about court rulings, you sure seem to lack an understanding of how they work. Appeals Court rulings can be appealed to a higher court (the Supreme Court). Supreme Court rulings are not appealed, as it is the supreme court in the land.

    Opinions carry much more weight when they are well-thought out instead of littered with copy/pasted snippets from articles with no context or explanations.

  • kargirl Sacramento, CA
    Jan. 13, 2012 12:46 p.m.

    She had a right under the ADA to sue. Her suit was dismissed. It sounds to me as though much thought and consideration went into this by nine justices whose background and beliefs were set aside in the interest of justice, as it should be, considering their responsibility as our national last court of appeal. President Obama, like every other president of any party, has nothing to do with it, since the executive branch is another branch of government not given this responsibility. If you don't know about the separate branches of government, please look it up. Personally, I think they did the right thing.

  • welcomethemall Nampa, ID
    Jan. 13, 2012 6:47 a.m.

    I dunno... college football in this country seems pretty divisive. But then, some consider that a matter of faith as well.

  • K Mchenry, IL
    Jan. 12, 2012 11:17 p.m.

    How can teaching seminary not be considered a minister?

    Here is the problem with laity doing tasks religious of the church should be doing. And the problem with smaller churches who really don't have a large base. In the catholic church if you were a nun or priest and sick the church would care for you if you were ill, temporary or life long. Either by direct care by fellow nuns and priests, or they would arrange through nursing home.

    Basically cause this is a small christian school they can't do for their workers. In the old days the brothers and sisters taught at the school and if couldn't do the task because of health was found other tasks to do and cared for. If this women as a member of their congregation were sick and her employer let her go would they be helping her with bills and such? Interesting as they are the evil employer in this. I think a right ruling but I wish a different case were brought. This woman hasn't gotten respectful treatment.

  • M Edwards Heber City, Ut
    Jan. 12, 2012 8:33 p.m.

    Just one more example of the Obama administration being out of line.

  • Rifleman Salt Lake City, Utah
    Jan. 12, 2012 7:52 p.m.

    Re: Pagan | 3:22 p.m. Jan. 12, 2012
    "We accept rulings now? Should I remind you of the appeal of Judge Walkers ruling on Prop 8 because he is a homosexual?"

    May I remind you that a ruling by the US Supreme Court is the end-O'-the-line. There are no appeals of their rulings. That is what frosted Obama's cookies.

    Their ruling on Obamacare won't be released until the end of their session. Care to place a bet on the outcome of that ruling?

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Jan. 12, 2012 6:40 p.m.

    I don't disagree with you when people are hired into secular position, like the EMU example. And in public schools, people should not promote their own religious beliefs.

    But that isn't what we are talking about, now is it.

    ""If a neo-Nazi does not spend all of his work day spreading his gospel, it would not be, an issue."

    In the real world, it would be an issue if the neo-nazi spent any of their work time spreading their values, period. I am not sure what percentage you think would be ok.... me, I think none would be about right.

    Why is it you can't see that by respecting others rights, you guarantee your own. This isn't a zero sum game. Your rights don't' need to come at the expense of someone else's, and visa versa. What you are battling over is only a very small percentage of what makes up a person. There are plenty of people I know who disagree with LDS teachings, yet are able to also see the common ground they share. Why each side make this all this, or all that, is beyond me.

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 12, 2012 3:22 p.m.

    'People who say they have "well-deserved issues with religion" are just going to have to accept the fact that they lost this fight.' - Rifleman | 2:52 p.m. Jan. 12, 2012

    We accept rulings now?

    Should I remind you of the appeal of Judge Walkers ruling on Prop 8 because he is a homosexual?

    I guess liberals should just 'accept facts'...

    but conservatives can claim 'judicial activism?'

    Double Standard.

    Besides, while the ruling may be final (or, appealed, as conservatives have shown) the issue is far, far from over.

    We both know that.

  • Rifleman Salt Lake City, Utah
    Jan. 12, 2012 2:52 p.m.

    Re:Pagan | 1:56 p.m. Jan. 12, 2012
    "If a neo-Nazi does not spend all of his work day spreading his gospel, it would not be, an issue."

    Since the US Supreme Court has rejected the Obama Administration argument unanimously your objects are moot. People who say they have "well-deserved issues with religion" are just going to have to accept the fact that they lost this fight.

  • very concerned Sandy, UT
    Jan. 12, 2012 2:47 p.m.


    I think it may be a matter of semantics. When you say *judgmental*, we immediately think of the negative connotations of judging: intolerance, coercion, condemnation, etc. The fact is that we all judge daily. We judge what will be the consequences of our actions, whether we agree with others, what color shoes we like. We judge all the time. Hopefully we do it in a fair, informed, and honest way, (See **Judge Not* and Judging*, by Elder Dallin H. Oaks, on, from a talk given on 1 March 1998 at Brigham Young University). But even then, there will be disagreements, such as with gay issues.

    I think organizations such as churches have the right to judge (in this way) as well.

    I also hope that Mormons would not be intolerant, coercive, blaming, angry, or condemning. Loving thy neighbor should still be the gold standard even though we may not agree with the neighbors lifestyle.

    But I also hope we who subscribe to the beliefs of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints would act within the law and support laws that maintain the morals of society we believe to be so critical.

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 12, 2012 1:56 p.m.

    'A synagogue should not have to hire a neo-Nazi maintenance person. Neither should a gay organization be forced to employee the same person.
    Be reasonable.' - UtahBlueDevil | 1:00 p.m. Jan. 12, 2012

    If a neo-Nazi does not spend all of his work day spreading his gospel, it would not be, an issue.

    And yet, people DO choose to use their profesional spread PERSONAL beliefs.

    Would you like some examples?

    **'Counseling student refuses to work with LGBTs, ACLU files brief' - Windy City Media - 10/04/11

    "Cincinnati -- The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit is slated to hear arguments today in the case of a graduate student who was removed from Eastern Michigan University's (EMU) counseling program because she refused to counsel lesbian, gay and bisexual clients..."

    Your beliefs, do not give you authorization to run ram-rod over the rights American citizens are afforded.

    **'Don't punish chaplains' - Deseret news - 11/02/10

    If the ONLY thing you are doing, is forcing your religious agenda on persons who did not ASK you to...

    you are NOT, factually doing the job, regardless.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Jan. 12, 2012 1:00 p.m.

    Pagan - the reason there are more religious lobbies is tied to the fact there are more groups trying to strip religion from public view. I happen to live in a religiously open area. But other places I have lived, groups are trying to suppress religious expression back to the home or church/mosque/synagogue.
    This is exampled by those who found crosses memorializing the deaths of those who have fallen in service, offensive. This is a very dangerous precedent - for everyone. If one group can have their rights denied to free expression, all groups are threatened.

    I hate it when people wear their religion on their sleeves as a mark of their spirituality. But I will defend their right to do so, because if their rights are breached, mine can easily be done so as well.

    A mosque should have the right to restrict those who WORK there to those of their faith. A synagogue should not have to hire a neo-Nazi maintenance person. Neither should a gay organization be forced to employee the same person.

    Be reasonable.

    Jan. 12, 2012 12:37 p.m.


    Organized religion's opposition to gay marriage has nothing to do with being "narrow-minded". It has to do with protecting the God-ordained ordinance of marriage. To mandate same-sex marriage would be to deny religions their beliefs and theology. Personally, I am OK with a "civil union" which will allow gay couples the legal rights afforded marriage. If same-sex marriage were mandated by law, the state could require the LDS church to allow a gay couple to be married in a Temple. Similar situations have happened in other states (the Catholic Diocese in MA being ordered to allow gay couple adoptions, the photographer in NM being fined for refusing to photograph a gay wedding, etc.)

    Most religions do teach one true path. Jesus Himself said that "No one comes unto the Father but through Me". However, no one is requiring you to follow that path. If you don't believe the Bible and Jesus, then whats the problem?

    I can't speak for everyone, but I can speak for myself: I try very hard to avoid judgment, love my neighbor, and to forgive those who wrong me. These are the changes religion has made in my life.

  • Rifleman Salt Lake City, Utah
    Jan. 12, 2012 11:43 a.m.

    Re: Pagan | 10:23 a.m. Jan. 12, 2012

    It was Obama that said "You can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig".

    The US Supreme Court just handed a defeat to those who are hostile to religion ..... unanimously.

  • CougarBlue Heber City, UT
    Jan. 12, 2012 11:08 a.m.

    The following statement says it all about Obama's administration.
    "I was surprised that the decision was unanimous," said Robert P. George, the McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence and director of the James Madison Program at Princeton University. "The fact that not even the most liberal justices on the court regarded that position as tenable just shows you how wildly out of bounds the Obama administration's position was."

    If this had not prevailed then people who left the LDS Church, and no longer supported the church would still be allowed to work in making sacred garments and or work in temples or work in the church administration offices.

  • DeltaFoxtrot West Valley, UT
    Jan. 12, 2012 10:58 a.m.

    @very concerned: If true religion is not narrow minded and judgmental then what do you call the millions of dollars spent by churches nationwide combating gay marriage?

    Religion teaches people that there is one true path and those who do not follow it are to be condemned.

    What ever happened to judge not, love thy neighbor and turn the other cheek?

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    Jan. 12, 2012 10:51 a.m.

    This decision was actually pretty narrow, about who qualifies as a minister or not.

  • Mike A.W. Pleasant Grove, Utah
    Jan. 12, 2012 10:50 a.m.

    Readers might notice, as a side note, the attorney representing the Hosanna-Tabor Church is Hannah Clayson Smith - quite well known around here. She is a very active LDS Church member, sister to Jane Clayson Johnson, graduate of Princeton University and BYU Law School, twice a Supreme Court clerk, member of the Deseret News Editorial Board, mother of three, accomplished violinist and all-around classy lady. She grew up in the Sacramento area and her father is a renowned vascular surgeon. She would be a great person to have on your side in any legal battle.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    Jan. 12, 2012 10:37 a.m.

    The reality is that this did not have to do with the exercise of religion. It was about religious institutions practicing discrimination in non-religious matters. The decision puts institutional interests above all. Is religion a personal matter or an institutional matter? If it is an institutional matter, then the principles taught by Christ are undermined.

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 12, 2012 10:23 a.m.

    'Pagan, you have it all wrong. No theocracy here.' - UtahBlueDevil | 8:17 p.m. Jan. 11, 2012

    Reply fact:

    **'Religious lobbying is changing political focus' - By Mercedes White - Deseret News - 11/21/2011

    "Number of lobbies has grown from 40 to over 200." - Article

    Religious obbies have grown from 40...

    to over 200.

    Let's discuss this MORE...

    on the Deseret news...

    that is owned, by the LDS church.

    **'Romneys donates $647,500 to charity in 2010' - By Jordan Burke, Deseret News - 11/16/11

    "About $145,000 went to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (sic) Romneys have donated $7.1 million to charitable causes, including at least $525,000 to Brigham Young University in Provo."

    - Article

  • Clarissa Layton, UT
    Jan. 12, 2012 10:21 a.m.

    @Kami: Of course I read the whole article and have been aware of this case going to the Supreme Court. I probably know more about it than you, but I definitely am not sure about this and will not accused you of not reading the whole article.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    Jan. 12, 2012 10:15 a.m.

    remember BOs trip to Ireland? The media reported BO did have Irish ancestry from his mothers side.

  • m.g. scott LAYTON, UT
    Jan. 12, 2012 10:01 a.m.

    @ Hutterite

    "Religion, it divides us like nothing else can"

    Really? The Supreme Court didn't seem too divided on THAT issue.

    However, I would say that "politics" divides us like nothing else can. If the Supreme Court were not so political, and more like it should be, an "applier" of the law and not an "interpreter" of it, then there would be more 9 to 0 decisions and less 5 to 4, along party lines.

    I know, some will point out that judges are supposed to "interpret" law. However, letting judges interpret law is like letting people interpret the Bible. You come out with many varied opinions. I just wish judges would look at the law as written and apply it. Wether they like it or not. Instead they often don't like a law, 2nd Amendment for instance, and find many unjustified ways to get around the law. I think many judges in America have aquired too much power that allows them to cross over to the legislative side, where they don't belong.

  • Mike in Cedar City Cedar City, Utah
    Jan. 12, 2012 9:56 a.m.

    One more DN attempt to blame Obama for something that is not really his issue. Like other businesses Churches should be able to hire and fire who and when they will. Employment at will is a principle well established in law. But, the question is, are there circumstances where law should protect employees of such institutions as it does for other companies and corporations. We have developed protected employee classes like the disabled for a reason. Should these protections be removed just because a person works for a church?

  • The Rock Federal Way, WA
    Jan. 12, 2012 9:25 a.m.

    I agree with the decision; however, it should not have been necessary.
    Liberal advocacy groups frequently boycott businesses they do not like. They have basically fired that business simply because they don't like their politics or behavior.

    Why can't a business owner do the same? I can spend my money any way I choose. Why can't a business do this? It is their money. Why should the government tell anyone how to spend their money?

    I used to work for a company that bought out a very abusive employer. These clowns went through 300 employees in a single year but never employed more than 50 at any one time. They were idiots. Nobody in town would work for them unless they were desperate. They paid a high price for such abuse.

    1. They could not attract and retain talented people.
    2. They were always training new employees.
    3. The quality of their product was low as a result.
    4. Sales plummeted.

    In the end they went bankrupt and my employer bought them out. It took years to clean up the mess and get to where we could hire talented, competent people again.

    John Wayne once said; "Stupid should hurt."
    Firing people without good reason is stupid; however, I support every man's right to be stupid.

    Remember, the only difference between freedom and a dictatorship is who makes the decisions. The words "discriminate" and "decide" have a common Latin root. There is not a financial decision that can be made in life that does not discriminate. When I go to Burger King over Del Taco I am discriminating. Out law discrimination and you outlaw freedom.

  • very concerned Sandy, UT
    Jan. 12, 2012 9:21 a.m.

    @Delta Foxtrot
    My feel is that your posting was meant to instigate rather than illuminate, but I think it deserves a response. I agree that there is less organized religion than there used to be. Mores the pity. However, I disagree that true religion is *narrow-minded (and) judgemental*. True religion embraces all truth, wherever it may be, and preaches non-judgementalism and charity, the pure love of Christ.

    I agree that humanity is approaching a turning point. Yes, a turning point at which it is coming to ignore the God Who gave us life and a chance for happiness. A turning point away from the only chance we have. A turning point away from centuries old values that could solve most of the worlds problems, including hunger, war, dishonesty, neglect, etc.

    I believe that when we pass that turning point, we will reap the consequences. Its like the guy who finally got his donkey to do without water, but the donkey up and died. Go figure.

  • desert dweller SAINT GEORGE, UT
    Jan. 12, 2012 9:14 a.m.

    and now if religious orginizations would stay out of politics then that would be better to.

  • very concerned Sandy, UT
    Jan. 12, 2012 9:01 a.m.

    @ John Pack Lambert

    I do support and agree with the following points you made:

    The court was probably smart not to rule further. At least I can understand why it is just as important what they dont say as what they do.

    I agree that the court will have other cases come up. At least this sets a solid precedent for religious rights.

    I agree that this ruling will prevent the government from dictating who is, or who will be retained, as ministers. One only need look at the reformation centuries ago in Europe to see the horrible consequences of state interference in such matters. Think of Tyndale and other reformers whose lives were taken by the government because of their efforts in behalf of religious freedoms.

    Unfortuantely, just IMHO, and in other words, I dont trust that the anti-religious groups would (or will) leave it alone. Without rulings such as this, there are those who will readily try to discourage, if not destroy, religious freedoms. Go Supreme Court (in this case).

    Anyway, thanks again.

  • very concerned Sandy, UT
    Jan. 12, 2012 8:58 a.m.

    @John Pack Lambert:

    Thanks for your posts. Very interesting. I agree with most of them. But as a layman who admittedly has only observed the Supreme Court, I'd like to ask a question.

    Is it really true that this decision has little effect on the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints? Personally, with the law of unintended consequences, I can see how upholding the EEOC's position could have had a significant impact on The Church, not only in the present, but down the road as the implications of the decision would have sent down a trickle affect for decades. Out of small things come large consequences. At the least, it could have encouraged the slow but steady erosion of the environment of appropriate religious rights for every church, including the LDS. Having to hire, or retain, employees whose values are in direct opposition to the churchs teachings could be a real detriment to the management of church affairs and the carrying out of its goals.

    Am I correct?

    Thanks, your comments got me thinking.

  • DeltaFoxtrot West Valley, UT
    Jan. 12, 2012 8:50 a.m.

    A landmark decision, but one that will ultimately be of little consequence. Organized religion across America is failing. The old generation is passing and the new generation doesn't subscribe to the narrow minded judgmental view of life that most religions tend to teach.

    Humanity is approaching a turning point, where we realize that religion has been crafted by man so that he may have power over other men. That is not the path we should be on.

  • Noodlekaboodle Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 12, 2012 8:48 a.m.

    @toosmart for you
    O'bama? When did the president become Irish?

  • JP71 Ogden, UT
    Jan. 12, 2012 8:42 a.m.

    The title of this article US Supreme Court rules on religious employees is a little misleading. This decision was based on paid ministers who happen to be church employees also. Since the LDS Church has a lay clergy this really doesnt apply to the Church. The only ones that this would effect in the LDS Church is seminary teachers and maybe bishops or priesthood leaders that happen to be Church employees also.

    It was good to see the Supreme Court respect freedom of religion.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 12, 2012 8:36 a.m.

    The case started back in it was actually the Bush Administration that started it but hey, don't let that detail get in the way of an anti-Obama rant.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    Jan. 12, 2012 8:07 a.m.

    Only in Red China and BOs vision for the US does the government choose who will be the ministers in the churches

    Gregory M. Lipper and his group, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, by his comments and positions, seem to be misnamed. They should call themselves Americans United for the Elimination of Religion.

  • Chachi Charlottesville, VA
    Jan. 12, 2012 8:00 a.m.

    To toosmartforyou: "Obama" does not have an apostrophe in it. Also, DOMA is the Defense of Marriage Act, not Definition of Marriage Act.

    eagle651: Of course the Obama administration gets the blame. It's the Obama administration that chose to take the case and argue it to the Supreme Court! Why shouldn't Obama be responsible for his administration's actions?

    1ket: First, the main reason they fired her rather than work out some kind of agreement was because she brought suit, which is against their religion, and they felt betrayed. Second, even if it were immoral, are you suggesting that anything immoral should also be illegal?

    Kami: Did *you* read the article? She wasn't a minister with some minor teaching roles; it was the other way around.

  • raybies Layton, UT
    Jan. 12, 2012 7:44 a.m.

    Great Job, Supreme Court!

  • Red Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 12, 2012 6:57 a.m.

    I Love Freedom!!!!!!

  • Rifleman Salt Lake City, Utah
    Jan. 12, 2012 6:32 a.m.

    Re: Pagan | 4:27 p.m. Jan. 11, 2012

    Sorry but the US Supreme Court ruling was unanimous. Mr. Obama got his hand slapped.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    Jan. 11, 2012 10:50 p.m.

    This case is actually a clear example of upholding the non-establishment of religion. One mark of established religions is that they have ministers who are chosen by the political leaders of the country, instead of by a system internal to the Church itself. If the government could sue churchs for firing ministers it would lead to the government forcing ministers upon unwilling congregations.

    There is a reason this decision was unanimous. It was because the other way leads to an established Church and government attempting to control religion.

    Of course Connectucut state authorities putting together a list of approved religions that met certain criteria they liked a few years back also was state establishment of religion. When word of this got out they backed down. Some public universities, which are state actors, have put together similar approved religion lists, and not all have been backed down from as of yet.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    Jan. 11, 2012 10:45 p.m.

    The part I like most about this decision was it was unanimous. This is a good sign, although it was probably a direct result of Justice Roberts not trying to delineate any clear limit to the ministerial exemption.

    While it is true that this ruling will not have much effect if any on LDS Church policy, a negative ruling could well have had negative effect.

    However I am not sure any court has ruled on the really tricky result of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and following legislation. At least in some states you can not discriminate in employment on marital status. How does this effect the firing of a women who is pregnant and not married by a school where she was employed as a teacher, when it is 100% clear the religious sponsor of the school objects to unmarried women being pregnant on religious grounds?

    In that case, I believe the school would win, because the 1964 Civil Rights Act is federal law and that trumps state law. However I am not sure what would happen if courts had to decided whether religious motivations for firing could apply to end other protections.

  • Laurels Sandy, UT
    Jan. 11, 2012 10:44 p.m.

    This was a unanimous decision by the Court. That's significant considering the range of philosophical and political viewpoints of the members of the Supreme Court.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    Jan. 11, 2012 10:39 p.m.

    While I concur this is a good ruling, it has very limited impact on the LDS Church. Most LDS church employees do not fall under the ministerial exemption. The right of the Church to condition their employ on being temple worthy is actually a direct result of the religious organizations exemption from the religious non-discrimination provisions of the Civil Rights Act. The Supreme Court upheld the application of these provisions specifically in relation to the LDS Church in Corporation of the Presiding Bishopric of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints v. Amos.

    This ruling will allow the Church to maintain rules for employment in full time seminary positions that are not clearly religious at all. This would not have been the case if the EEOC actually won its argument, but it would have been the case if the 6th circuit's ruling had prevailed.

    This ruling will allow religious groups to maintain adequate control over the schools they sponsor. However there are many teachers whose falling under the ministerial exemption is even less clear, and so I suspect the court will soon have to rule on a case where the facts are less clear.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    Jan. 11, 2012 10:30 p.m.

    This is the greatest victory for religious liberty in the country since at least Wisconsin v. Yoder, the case that allowed the Amish to not go to high school.

    Justice Roberts was wise to avoid trying to set down any contours for the ministerial exemption. With no establishment of religion who is a minister is the decision and right of the religious organization involved, not the decision of the government.

    In this case the teacher clearly had a special status that made her a minister distint from other teachers at the school. I especially like Justice Roberts stopwatch quote.

  • Hemlock Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 11, 2012 10:29 p.m.

    Yes Hutterite, if no one had any convictions, preferences, standards or codes of conduct there would be no divisions. Brilliant conclusion.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Jan. 11, 2012 8:17 p.m.

    Pagan, you have it all wrong. No theocracy here.

    This is what sort of really irritates me. In order for you to enjoy the rights and freedoms you enjoy, others have to be allowed to practice their choices without government interference. This means those that we disagree with need to be able to live as they will, regardless if we agree with them or not, in order to protect everyones rights.

    My wife was offered a job at a local christian school, but had to honestly answer their pledge to a belief in an all in one trinity. She withdrew her application because she was not able to conform to their requirements. This had nothing to do with preaching religion, but having a standard within their school. While my wife would have loved to work at this school as she had good friends who taught there, we fully understood and respected their right to hire as the please.

  • ChrisNSuz Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 11, 2012 7:19 p.m.

    I don't see what this has to do with Obama at all, but as a Liberal Democrat I feel that this was the right decision. Excellent points made by the Justices in this decision. A very well thought out judgement. Good Job.

  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 11, 2012 7:14 p.m.


    I have read into the lawsuit as well. But the specific case has less interest to me than the single principle I've addressed, thus why I only addressed the one idea. All I really care about is that religions can hire how they see fit. I'm not in favor of suppressing the income of one group in favor of another. I only think that in attempting to be anti-discriminating, many groups have gone so far as to prevent some choices which would have been better left alone.

    Not everyone shares the same moral values. The main principle is that we are free. When someone tells me how I can spend my money I have a problem. My company's money or my religion's money are extensions of myself. I believe in something, I support it. Religion works the same way. After all, no religions or companies can do anything without the people behind them. My main focus in debating is only to promote freedom how I think it will be best protected.


    Hutterite, religion can't divide anyone. People divide. I find that statement ironic though, being that most criticize LDS ideas of being one in purpose, etc.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Jan. 11, 2012 6:10 p.m.

    Religion. It divides us like nothing else can.

  • Danite Boy SANDY, UT
    Jan. 11, 2012 6:05 p.m.

    The article fails to point out that it was the Bush Administration (the EEOC) that started the lawsuit against the church that the Supreme Court just ruled on. While the EEOC under current administration did continue the lawsuit that the Bush administrated initiated, the headline would lay the blame entirely on the Obama administration is misleading and unfair. Painting the Obama administration as actively waging a war against religion may be popular in some circles, but it is simply not accurate.

  • Gregg Weber SEATTLE, WA
    Jan. 11, 2012 5:11 p.m.

    It is discussing state influence on religious matters that reminds me of "the thin edge of the wedge" from "Yes Prime Minister". Same with gun control but that's another subject. Actually the thin end is already far in when a church, any church has to change it's religious practices because of political threat. (D&C Pg. 291-3) Unfortunately instead of when the President of the Church speaks, it has long been when the President of the U.S. speaks ...

    I'm not perfect but in my humble opinion, neither was (or is?) the POTUS. Another subject.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 11, 2012 4:49 p.m.

    @A Voice of Reason
    Eh... I mean that I agree with the ruling... not the lawsuit. Oops.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 11, 2012 4:48 p.m.

    @A voice of Reason
    "Imagine President Thomas S. Monson having to hire two gay body guards after prop 8. While you may think my analogy is extreme"

    It wouldn't be a matter of HAVING to hire them, it'd be a matter of not discriminating against gay people in the hiring process which is somewhat different since the former suggests no choice in hiring. Granted, the court didn't touch on this matter because as you note...

    "Even more, this ruling wasn't about typical jobs- but minsters"
    "If America can force who can be a minister, then how does freedom still exist? "

    In this case the question was not about getting rid of the ministerial exemption. The question was about whether or not this particular employee qualified as a minister since she spent most of her time teaching. So it's a matter of how far the ministerial exemption covers, not whether or not it should be gotten rid of.

    Now don't get the wrong impression, I agree with the lawsuit and find myself peculiarly even more conservative on the issue than the result was.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 11, 2012 4:42 p.m.

    "The decision was limited to the facts of this case and the court focused on the facts that she was hired as a minister with perhaps a minor role in also teaching some secular classes"

    Other way around, her major role was the teaching aspect. That's why the "does the ministerial exception apply to her?" question and basis of this trial even came up.

  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 11, 2012 4:36 p.m.

    For those that are against this ruling...

    Imagine President Thomas S. Monson having to hire two gay body guards after prop 8. While you may think my analogy is extreme, it's certainly a valid example of someone automatically having a conflict of interest solely based on what we normally prevent as discriminatory. And while you may not like how this ruling plays out in the end- I have a feeling that no one would be disagreeing with the religious side of this ruling had they been the guy those body guards are supposed to protect.

    This example may not represent the views of everyone from any group- but it at least reveals the potential conflict of interest.

    Even more, this ruling wasn't about typical jobs- but minsters. Would the Utah Symphony be discriminating for not hiring a person without hands to play the piano? Law was never meant to be uninterpretable and set in stone. Law is in many ways set in stone, but equally it is puddy in our hands. We the people form our laws.

    If you still disagree, I challenge this- If America can force who can be a minister, then how does freedom still exist?

  • Tibi001 Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Jan. 11, 2012 4:33 p.m.

    Big O - get used to this.
    Only in a dictatorship can a goventment mandate things that has nothing to do with the government itself.
    Next stop: health care: public option. Good luck.

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 11, 2012 4:27 p.m.

    Theocracy, here we come.

  • Fitz Murray, UT
    Jan. 11, 2012 4:26 p.m.

    Kami, the question is not did you read the article, but rather did you read the decision. This unanimous decision reaches much further than just the case that was presented before the court. You should read the decision.

  • toosmartforyou Farmington, UT
    Jan. 11, 2012 4:20 p.m.

    @ eagle651

    O'Bama was blmed for this one because it was his administration that was suing the church. He also refuses to defend the Definition of Marriage Act.

    It is a case of "As ye sow..." If he wants to quit being blamed he needs to start making better decisions.

  • Andy Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Jan. 11, 2012 3:36 p.m.

    A big win for the free-exercise of religion.

  • Kami Bountiful, Utah
    Jan. 11, 2012 3:25 p.m.

    UtahBlueDevil | 12:39 p.m. Jan. 11, 2012
    Durham, NC
    This could have had a deep impact on the LDS church and its employees. We have strict guidelines around eligibility to perform certain jobs, and had the courts sided with the EEOC on this, it would have caused all kinds of heart ache inside the church.

    Clarissa | 2:41 p.m. Jan. 11, 2012
    Layton, UT
    I'm thrilled with with decision! Way to go Supreme Court. Religious institutions need to be allowed freedom to chose their employees or ministers. I have had some of my faith restored in this country.

    Did either of you even bother to read the article? The decision was limited to the facts of this case and the court focused on the facts that she was hired as a minister with perhaps a minor role in also teaching some secular classes. How either of you think that this case will allow a religious instituion to discriminate against any and all of its employees is beyond me....

  • eagle651 Chino Valley, AZ
    Jan. 11, 2012 3:16 p.m.

    Obama Administration got the blame for this one. Funny, he gets blamed for everything

  • Clarissa Layton, UT
    Jan. 11, 2012 2:41 p.m.

    I'm thrilled with with decision! Way to go Supreme Court. Religious institutions need to be allowed freedom to chose their employees or ministers. I have had some of my faith restored in this country.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    Jan. 11, 2012 1:44 p.m.

    "We are reluctant ... to adopt a rigid formula for deciding when an employee qualifies as a minister,"


    This really appears to only apply to those in "ministerial" type positions and wouldn't affect Secretaries, Janitors, IT, or other non-ministerial positions; at least that is how I read the ruling.


    I don't think it will change anything for the LDS Church. Seminary teachers, yes, Janitors, no.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Jan. 11, 2012 12:39 p.m.

    This could have had a deep impact on the LDS church and its employees. We have strict guidelines around eligibility to perform certain jobs, and had the courts sided with the EEOC on this, it would have caused all kinds of heart ache inside the church.

    A good ruling.

  • lket Bluffdale, UT
    Jan. 11, 2012 12:19 p.m.

    kind of funny god fearing people can do a immoral firing and its legal. ironic