Monday, August 12, 2019
I have an op-ed in the Indianapolis Star about the recent round of lawsuits that have been filed by former teachers against Catholic high schools and dioceses. Here's a bit:
Every summer, the Supreme Court closes its work-year with a flurry of high-profile opinions dealing with controversial questions. The commentary and headlines about these decisions tends to focus on disagreement, division, and dissent. We should remember, though, that there are important, bedrock principles that unite the Court.
One such principle, the justices unanimously reminded us just a few years ago, is that our country’s constitutional commitment to religious freedom does not allow the government to interfere with a church’s decision about its teachings or its teachers. The Court’s liberals and conservatives agree: If church-state separation means anything, it means this. . . .
If we value real diversity and meaningful pluralism in that sector, it is essential to respect both the freedom of religious schools to be distinctive and the decisions of religious schools about how to carry out, and who should carry out, their mission.
Reasonable people in good faith can and will disagree about particular employment decisions, and it is appropriate to criticize what one regards as unfair, unjust, or uncharitable discrimination. In the United States, though, just as no one is forced to embrace a particular faith, no one is entitled to teach, lead, and minister in a particular religious school. The Constitution protects the right to reject a church’s teachings but does not permit the government to reshape them