Kevin Smith to join panelists to discuss “Trinity Lutheran Supreme Court Case”
Trinity Lutheran Church operates a preschool in Missouri. In 2012, Trinity applied for a playground resurfacing grant from the state. Obtaining the grant would allow Trinity to receive reimbursement for resurfacing its playground with a safer pour-in-place rubber surface made from recycled tires.
The state awarded 14 grants that year, but while Trinity’s application was ranked 5th out of 44 applications, the church was denied. Missouri determined that its state establishment clause forbids it from providing an available benefit to children—a safe playground surface—simply because the playground is on church property.
Adam Liptak of The New York Times has described Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia v. Comer as “the term’s remaining marquee case.” While Trinity Lutheran involves a state program to improve the safety of playgrounds, the case has far-reaching implications for churches and other faith-based ministries. The U.S. Supreme Court will soon decide whether the government can exclude religious organizations from secular programs just because those organizations are religious.
What will be the impact of the high court’s decision? What are the ramifications for the nation and, in particular, the faith-based community? Join Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel David Cortman, who argued before the Supreme Court on behalf of Trinity Lutheran Church; Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler, who represents Missouri’s 4th Congressional District (including Columbia); Russell Moore, president, Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, and Kevin Smith, executive director, Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware.
This free “Capitol Conversations” event will be held Thursday, June 29, 2017 from 7:00-9:00 p.m. at the Rayburn House Office Building, 45 Independence Ave SW, Rooms 2044 and 2045, Washington, D.C.