Thursday, February 26, 2004


Theosebes posted on the case of scholarship winner denied his scholarship when it was discovered he was studying theology. The Supreme Court has now ruled that it's acceptable to deny such moneys:
The court's 7-2 ruling held that the state of Washington was within its rights to deny a taxpayer-funded scholarship to a college student who was studying to be a minister. That holding applies even when money is available to students studying anything else.

"Training someone to lead a congregation is an essentially religious endeavor," Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist wrote for the court majority. "Indeed, majoring in devotional theology is akin to a religious calling as well as an academic pursuit."

Not everyone on the court agreed with the majority. Two of its more sensible heads dissented:
Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas dissented.

"Let there be no doubt: This case is about discrimination against a religious minority," Scalia wrote for the two.

"In an era when the court is so quick to come to the aid of other disfavored groups, its indifference in this case, which involves a form of discrimination to which the Constitution actually speaks, is exceptional."

Scalia said the court's majority was trying to play down the damage to Davey, who continued his education without the subsidy. He did not choose to enter the ministry after graduation, and is now in law school.

"The indignity of being singled out for special burdens on the basis of one's calling is so profound that the concrete harm produced can never be dismissed as insubstantial," wrote Scalia, the father of a Catholic priest.

Just another move dictated by our state religion: secularism.

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