All eyes are on a U. S. Supreme Court Carson versus Makin case that may temper the high courts history of anti-religion rulings. At issue is whether it is constitutional for the state of Maine to refuse funding to schools with religious affiliation that meet similar qualifications as non-religious schools. Maine law provides tuition assistance only to public schools and those nonsectarian private schools that provide "substantially the same education provided in the public schools." Schools that have religious affiliations are denied tuition assistance. Maine is not alone in this regard. Thirty-seven other states similarly discriminate against schools with religious affiliations. Given the conservative nature of the current court, there is a good chance the court will strike down the religious discrimination and overturn a 40-year precedent.
The First Amendment of the U. S. Constitution states: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” Over the centuries, this simple clause has been morphed, through Supreme Court opinions, to outright discrimination against schools that embrace religious beliefs of any kind. It is a classic example of the courts creating laws that are simply not there in order to achieve a social goal advocated by the justices. First of all, the Maine law has nothing to do with Congress, or even Maine, establishing a state religion. Second, the Maine law, if anything, prohibits the free exercise of religion. It’s high time the Supreme Court returns to a more modest and literal interpretation of our Constitution and lets the legislating return to our duly elected legislative bodies.