Teacher loses church-state employment appeal
January 11th, 2012
12:25 PM ET

Teacher loses church-state employment appeal

By Bill Mears, CNN Supreme Court Producer

Washington (CNN)–A former teacher at a Michigan religious school lost her workplace discrimination claim at the Supreme Court Wednesday, as the justices deftly avoided the larger questions raised in the church-state dispute.

At issue was whether the Americans with Disabilities Act applies to hiring and firing decisions involving "ministerial employees" like teachers who may have primarily secular job duties.

The unanimous high court concluded Cheryl Perich was indeed a "minister" under a narrow reading of the law and the specific circumstances of her job duties.

"The interest of society in the enforcement of employment discrimination statutes is undoubtedly important," said Chief Justice John Roberts. "But so too is the interest of religious groups in choosing who will preach their beliefs, teach their faith, and carry out their mission.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Church and state • Courts

soundoff (31 Responses)
  1. kindness

    A thought to consider without ego
    Accept Jesus christ as your lord and saviour. You never know how soon is too late. Trancend the worldly illusion of enslavement.
    The world denounces truth....

    Accepting Jesus Christ will result in something like seeng a new colour. You will see it .....but will not be able to clearly explain it to anyone else..... Its meant to be that way to transend any selfism within you.

    Currently.... your constructing your own path that suits your sin lifestyle.

    Look closely at the economy ponzi, look at how society idolizes Lust , greed , envy, sloth, pride of life, desire for knowledge, desire for power, desire for revencge,gluttony with food etc .

    Trancend the temporal world.

    Just think if you can find a truth you can take with you in any of these things. When you die your riches go to someone who will spend away your life. You will be forgotten.... history will repeat iteslf, the greatest minds knowledge fade or are eventually plagerzed, your good deeds are forgotten and only give you a fleeting temporary reward . your learned teachings are forgotten or mutated, your gold is transfered back to the rullers that rule you through deception. Your grave will grow over .
    Trancend your egoism and free yourself from this dominion of satan. Relise your a sinner and part of the collective problem of this worldly matrix... Repent....

    Evidence follows faith. Faith does not follow evidence..... Faith above reason in Jesus Christ.

    Read Ecclesiastes. Read corinthians.

    You cant trancend your own egoism by adapting a world philosophy to suit your needs. Seek the truth.

    Sell your cleverness and purchase bewilderment. You don't get what you want you get what you are in christ.

    I promise this has been the truth for me. In Jesus christ .

    Think of what you really have to lose. ...your ego?

    Down is up. Break the Matrix of illusion that holds your senses captive.

    once you do . you too will have the wisdom of God that comes only through the Holy Spirit. Saved By grace through Faith. Just like seeing a new colour.... can't explain it to a transient caught in the matrix of worldly deception.

    Your all smart people . I tell the truth. Its hard to think out of the box when earthly thinking is the box.

    May 8, 2012 at 7:08 pm |
  2. baldness

    Hey there! I simply wish to give you a huge thumbs up for the excellent information you have here on this post. I will be returning to your web site for more soon.

    April 24, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
  3. By the Mercy of the Sargon, my time of freedom is here!

    So churches can tell black people to "get out of here n-ggr", tell disabled veterans "get out of here stumpy", and murder them if they disobey or even enslave them and torture them in a back room according to the Holy Bible.

    ....because their religion says its okay and the Catholic-dominated Supreme Court agrees that violating our laws is okay as long as it has religious meaning.

    Yeah, we don't need a wall between religion and government!
    Our religion-corrupted government will protect me as I violate the government's laws anyway.

    Heck, let's just get rid of all the laws since they don't mean anything!

    MY religion says that I can kill anyone I want, steal anything, discriminate against anyone I want, force anyone I want to listen to what I have to say, break any law that is not in my religion, and basically do whatever I like, because MY religion says so.

    And the Supreme Court, ruled by the Vatican, agrees with me.

    Great stuff. I am so glad to be in a pluralistic theocracy! All you atheists lost the fight! HAAA-HAAA!

    The Supreme Court has ruled in religion's favor at last!

    All religions are free to violate all laws! Halledoodah!

    I'm going to violate the law religiously.
    My holy works will sustain me as I ignore everything this country used to enforce.

    Now there is nothing to stop me.
    Anyone who tries to stop me will find that they don't have a leg to stand on, just like all those crippled liberal veterans and silly black people and foolish Jews! None of them have any way of stopping me now!





    January 12, 2012 at 6:39 am |
    • SARGON


      January 12, 2012 at 6:57 am |
    • Pops

      SARGON is now TOO HOLY to use the name SARGON anymore!
      We have entered a NEW AGE!
      One purpose for all people is to discover the new name of the One True GOD!
      It might take aeons. Who knows? Only the One True GOD knows! But that doesn't matter on First Holy Day!
      Today we can rest or work as we like! All laws don't matter anymore! My GOD has given us a SIGN!

      January 12, 2012 at 8:15 am |
  4. The Central Scrutinizer

    Even more fun with the Pickle, er....Bible:

    God gave the Moabites and the Ammonites special protection since they
    were the descendents of Lot's drunken, incestuous affair with his
    daughters (Gen.19:30-38). 2:9, 19

    More talk about a "land of giants." They must have been much more common
    back then. 2:10-11, 20

    Og, the king of the giants, was a tall man, even by NBA standards. His
    bed measured 9 by 4 cubits (15 feet long and 6 feet wide). 3:11

    When going to war, don't be afraid. God is on your side; "he shall fight
    for you." 3:22

    "Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you neither shall ye
    diminish ought from it." This verse is one of those that prevent
    Bible-believers from cleaning up the Bible. So they're stuck with the
    unedited version. 4:2

    God's favorite people will never be infertile (neither will their cows!)
    and will never get sick. (God will send infertility and diseases on the
    other guys.) 7:14-15

    God will send hornets to kill your enemies, "for the Lord thy God is
    among you, a mighty God and terrible." 7:20-23

    Here is some good advice from God: "Circ.umcise the foreskin of your
    heart." 10:16

    After God instructs the Israelites to mercilessly slaughter all the
    strangers that they encounter (Dt.7:2, 16), he tells them to "love ye
    therefore the stranger: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt."

    God says that we shouldn't add to, or take away from, any of his
    commands. Why then don't modern Bible-believers stone to death
    blasphemers, sabbath breakers, and disobedient sons? 12:32

    Don't "make any baldness between your eyes for the dead." 14:1

    This verse mistakenly says that the hare chews its cud. 14:7-8

    Don't eat any seafood unless it has fins and scales. Oysters, clams,
    crabs, and lobsters are "unclean" and shouldn't be eaten. 14:10

    To the biblical God, a bat is just an another unclean bird. 14:11, 18

    Don't eat any dead animals that you find lying around. But it's okay to
    give it to strangers or sell it to foreigners. And, just in case you
    were getting ready to, don't boil a kid (young goat) is its mother's
    milk. 14:21

    Don't sacrifice any animal with a blemish to God - he is very picky!

    "Thou shalt not remove thy neighbors landmark" (?) 19:14

    God travels with people and fights in their wars. 20:4

    January 11, 2012 at 11:39 pm |
    • The Central Scrutinizer

      I don't want a pickle....
      I just want to ride on my motor-ckle
      And I don’t want t die.....
      I just want to ride on my motor-cy……….cle.

      January 11, 2012 at 11:46 pm |
    • Pops

      Stop quoting false religious texts! They are worthless! You should only follow my One True Religion!
      You atheists just lost your war in America! This is now a Pluralistic Theocracy! All Hail the One True Religion and the One True GOD that is the only one that exists! Laws don't matter anymore! Being an atheist doesn't matter anymore, either!
      Time to join me in celebrating First Holy Day! You cannot help it! My GOD is too powerful for you, atheist! You lost!

      January 12, 2012 at 9:01 am |
    • The Central Scrutinizer

      I'm smat! I'm not dumb, not like everybody says! I'm smat and I want respect!

      January 12, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
  5. hamsta

    u can argue seperation of church and state as much as u want,but u cant disprove the fact that american society didnt start its decline until they removed god from the schools.

    January 11, 2012 at 10:07 pm |
    • The Phist

      Man created god. There was never a "god" in schools to begin with.

      You're welcome.

      January 11, 2012 at 10:30 pm |
    • The Central Scrutinizer

      And you can't prove the (not a fact) that American society didn't start its decline until they removed god from the schools. Removing religion from schools is imperative to our ability to move forward and prosper as a country in my opinion. Additionally, try mixing in some apostrophes. School did not do much for you! Maybe you were too busy reading the Lord’s Prayer and not spending enough time studying English?

      January 11, 2012 at 10:32 pm |
    • Calling hamsta's bluff

      American society is not in decline. Throughout our history, people have often made that claim, but invariably they were seeking political power for their ideology – which was usually pretty ugly. People such as Hitler used that claim to come to power and justify building his military, claiming it a defense against the "decadent West" (which turned out to be much stronger than him).

      Yes, we are in a recession, but the truth is that American society is as good or better than it has ever been. Civil liberties are still quite high (though W tried to do them in), medical science has allowed people to live longer and better, crime has generally been trending downwards for decades, and the average American lives far, far better than his predecessors 70 years ago.

      People who scream about "American society in decline" are ALWAYS pushing some horrible ideology that they cannot sell with reason and facts.

      January 11, 2012 at 10:54 pm |
  6. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    January 11, 2012 at 7:42 pm |
    • The Central Scrutinizer

      Thank you sir may I have another!

      January 11, 2012 at 10:11 pm |
  7. The Phist

    The words "religious" and "teacher" do not belong in the same sentence.

    January 11, 2012 at 6:39 pm |
    • just sayin

      Thanks for putting religious and teacher in the same sentence. Now lets add it to the classrooms of all American schools.

      January 11, 2012 at 7:44 pm |
    • The Phist

      Let's not.

      January 11, 2012 at 8:06 pm |
  8. Maya

    Doesn't anyone else find it interesting that all these civil rights and anti-discrimination statutes specifically exempt religious organizations? The implication is that the actions of religious organizations are more likely to be guided by bigotry, and that furthermore, they (for some unknown reason) have a greater right to discriminate than anyone else.

    No more special treatment for religious organizations. They should have to follow the same rules everyone else follows.

    January 11, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
    • JohnQuest

      If you don't want the Religious Fanatics involved with the state, the State should not be involved with the fanatics.

      January 11, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
  9. JohnQuest

    • AT&T Mobility vs. Concepcion: Held that a company's arbitration clause prevents its customers from suing in a class action for fraud.

    • PLIVA vs. Mensing: Ruled that makers of generic drugs cannot be sued for failing to warn patients of new dangers or side effects.

    • Sorrell vs. IMS Health: Decided that drug makers have a free-speech right to buy private prescription records to use in sales pitches to physicians.

    • Wal-Mart vs. Dukes: Threw out a class-action lawsuit on behalf of 1.5 million women who accused the retailer of s-ex discrimination.

    • American Electric Power vs. Connecticut: Threw out an environmental lawsuit that sought to require five major power producers to limit discharges of carbon pollution.

    And there are many more

    January 11, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
  10. JohnQuest

    No Surprise really, the Robert's court has almost always sided with Business over individual rights.

    January 11, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
  11. David Johnson

    I have no problem with churches being immune from wrongful termination suits. The court's decision actually reinforces the separation of church and state. This is a secular nation. I pray it stays that way.

    Vote for the Dems. This is not a Christian nation. Nor a Muslim nation. Our laws are not based on the Christian bible.

    The Christian god is very unlikely to exist.


    January 11, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      Vote for the Dems??
      You mean none of them are religious in any way?

      January 11, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      David Johnson, or should I say Peter Pan. Grow up. Jesus teaches us how to take responsibility for our thoughts/beliefs/actions in life. For all you folks that refuse to grow up ... and for the courts that have children sitting behind the bench. It is indeed a sad day in our history when bashing Jesus' spiritual truth allows children mentalities of 2nd to 3rd grade levels to be persecuting mature adults that are insisting that others be able to achieve mature adult spiritual levels in our society is a bad thing. So sit behind science as you act that you are appalled. Science uncovers what is going on with our world and now they know they have more research to do with the Peter Patricia Pan syndrome of this generation.


      January 11, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
    • What?

      "Jesus teaches us how to take responsibility for our thoughts/beliefs/actions in life. For all you folks that refuse to grow up ..."

      Just because you've read the bible doesn't make you mature. Christians from all walks of life claiming jesus's truth have done horrific and childish things. H.S. you missed this life lesson. Emotional maturity is defined as: the ability to express one’s own feelings and convictions balanced with consideration for the thoughts and feelings of others. It seems you still need to learn that lesson based on your posts on this blog.

      January 11, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest


      Don't use mature and rational arguments with HeavenSent. If you do half the time he/she just ignores you and goes to another thread to troll more.

      January 11, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      What?, you posted “"Jesus teaches us how to take responsibility for our thoughts/beliefs/actions in life. For all you folks that refuse to grow up ..."

      Just because you've read the bible doesn't make you mature. Christians from all walks of life claiming jesus's truth have done horrific and childish things. H.S. you missed this life lesson. Emotional maturity is defined as: the ability to express one’s own feelings and convictions balanced with consideration for the thoughts and feelings of others. It seems you still need to learn that lesson based on your posts on this blog.”

      Answer: Reading and applying Jesus’ righteous wisdom to one’s life ensures maturity. What you posted is a take off of His truth but your posts bashing Jesus’ truth without walking the walk is mute. You look like ducks, try to talk like ducks, won’t walk the walk, and you certainly are not a duck. Make a joke about this statement is what all you will do, and again, you will ignore the message. As for Christians who drop from the path of Jesus’ righteous teachings, proves they refuse to endure to the end (as all non-believers do) and opt for the easy way out in life due to peer pressure from you non-believers and instructors who are in positions of teaching them to do so. Your generation is the ultimate in being divided and conquered due to your egos needing to be stroked.

      HawaiiGuest, I’ve posted my answer before ... I only tolerate reading the nonsense that comes from the non-believers posts for x-amount of time, then change gears to do something positive which rids me of the spiritually dead’s negative pollution written.


      January 12, 2012 at 6:11 am |
    • Pops


      We have entered a New Age in America! This is now a Pluralistic Theocracy! All you atheist just lost! HA HA!

      Laws don't matter anymore! Just express any religion as you like and ignore any law you want! All that is needed is to follow a religion! Join mine! It is the BEST and the STRONGEST and the ONLY TRUE RELIGION!

      Feel Free to Party! Today is First Holy Day of the One True Religion! Stop being an atheist and join in the fun!
      Freedom for all religions and religious expression is finally here! You lost! Your silly laws and Const!tution do not matter anymore!

      My religion is best because it says so! No one can stop me or my GOD from expression now! The Supreme Court has released us from following the law!
      If you are an atheist, you still have to follow laws. You lose and can be made a slave in the open market or executed for failing to follow the religious laws of all the other religions, which are all false religions. Join mine! It is free to all!
      It is the best! My GOD is the strongest of all! You cannot win against my GOD! It is the only REAL GOD!

      January 12, 2012 at 8:55 am |
  12. WelcomedOpinion

    Thank you court. You got this one RIGHT!

    January 11, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
  13. Lame Lame Lame

    Wow. This Supreme Court has all the insight and integrity of a drunken bowling team in Winnemucca. The Americans With Disabilities Act does not apply to religious organizations.

    January 11, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.