HOME > NEWSROOM > ARTICLES > “Religion is Not Asbestos”

“Religion is Not Asbestos”

Last year, a U.S. Appeals Court ruled that two public high schools in Wisconsin had acted unconstitutionally by renting a church auditorium for their graduation ceremonies. While the ceremonies were not religious and were held at the church at the behest of the students for comfort and logistical reasons, the Seventh Circuit Court, in a sharply divided decision, insisted that the “pervasively religious environment” could cause students to believe the government was endorsing a certain religion. The U.S. Supreme Court has now been petitioned to hear the case.

Luke Goodrich of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, one of the organizations defending the school district, declared, “Religion is not asbestos, and the Constitution does not require the government to treat churches as contaminated buildings that are uniquely unfit for public events.”  Noting that numerous public schools similarly use church facilities, he also stated, “If the Supreme Court agrees to hear the school district’s appeal, it has the potential to become one of the most significant church–state cases in many years.”

      • Learn more about this case from the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty and from the school district.

By Aaron Mercer, Vice President Government Relations

Published: February 1, 2013

Latest News

National Religious Broadcasters Marks 70th Anniversary

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the National Religious Broadcasters, which was established with the focus of defending and expanding access to electronic media platforms for the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

FCC Chairman Engages on Future of Broadcasting

Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler offered his thoughts this week on what the future of broadcasting could...

Supreme Court Turns Down First Amendment Case

The U.S. Supreme Court this week decided not to take up Elane Photography v. Willock, a case in which a professional photographer...

Nearly Half of House Publicly Oppose Performance Tax

Nearly half of all Members of Congress in the U.S. House of Representatives now publicly support the Local Radio Freedom Act...

NRB Chairman Bill Blount Meets, Greets NAB Leaders

Newly elected NRB Chairman Bill Blount had the opportunity this week to meet and speak briefly with the President and CEO of the National Association of Broadcasters as well as its Chairman.

Cornerstone Network Celebrates 35 Years of Broadcasting

Cornerstone Network will mark its 35th anniversary on Tuesday, April 15, and plans to celebrate its history and future with an array of activities, including an on-air celebration, the release of a new book, and the launch of new television programs.

Irreplaceable: Focus on the Family's First-Ever Movie Event on May 6

Irreplaceable, one of the largest initiatives that Focus on the Family has ever undertaken, will be presented one night only in more than 700 select movie theaters around the country.

In Memoriam: Norma Pederson, Wife of Reach Beyond President Wayne Pederson

Norma Pederson, the wife of Reach Beyond President Wayne Pederson, passed away Thursday, April 3, after a yearlong battle with cancer.

Walking with the Enemy: Mark Schmidt Adapts True Decades-Old Story from Nazi-Occupied Hungary

Last week, the Rev. Mark Jenkins, NRB President's Council Member and Minister of Media at Grove Avenue Baptist Church in Richmond, VA, invited several NRB staff to attend a screening of Director Mark Schmidt's Walking with the Enemy, produced by Liberty Studios.

CIN Study Highlighted at Senate Hearing

Following up on a hearing by the Senate Judiciary Committee last week, members of the Senate Commerce Committee began their review of the...

More News