Feb. 16, 2005
Feb. 18, 2005

Feb. 17, 2005

A lot of the church-state issues in this country eventually make it to the U.S. Supreme Court (http://www.supremecourtus.gov/). On the court’s home page, click on “Docket” and search on the key names in each case to turn up information about the case.

Today I just wanted to alert you to three cases that court will hear in the next few weeks.

The first two, both to be heard on March 2, are “Thomas Van Orden v. Rick Perry, Governor of Texas, Chairman, State Preservation Board, et al” and “McCreary County, Kentucky, et al v. ACLU of Kentucky, et al.” Both of these cases have to do with when, if ever, it’s constitutionally appropriate to display the Ten Commandments on government property. (Will we never quit fighting about that?)

The third case, “Jon B. Cutter, et al v. Reginald Wilkinson et al,” is to be heard March 21. It’s an “Establishment Clause” case that may determine whether to strike down the “Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act.” The act creates various legislative accommodations to the free exercise of religion and if it’s declared unconstitutional it could have a big impact.

There’s always been an uneasy but necessary tension between religion and government in this country. And because courts often define the boundaries of that relationship, it’s important that we pay attention to the cases that come before the judges.

To read my weekly column in the Faith section of The Kansas City Star and my other work, go to www.kansascity.com and click on “FYI” on the left side of the opening page. Then click on “Faith” or on my name.

Another place to buy my book is from The Kansas City Store. Go to: http://www.thekansascitystore.com/ProductDetail.cfm?PID=261

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