All Articles For Church and State

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Mr. Lanting, a member of South Holland Protestant Reformed Church, is a practicing attorney. “Illinois closes its schools on twelve holidays. Nine are purely secular. Two are religious in origin but secularized: Christmas and Thanksgiving. Only one of the holidays is a purely religious holiday, Good Friday, the holiday celebrated only by believing Christians. School districts are free to close their schools on the major holidays of other religions, but all public schools throughout the state are forced to close on Good Friday regardless of the preference of local school districts and no matter how small the number of students...

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Mr. Lanting, a member of South Holland Protestant Reformed Church, is a practicing attorney. “So when artificial nourishment provides no detectable benefits but does cause various sorts of hardships, one can argue that withdrawing it signals covenantal concern, not abandonment. We conclude, then, that withdrawing artificial feeding should sometimes be permitted and even recommended.” Christian Faith, Health, & Medical Practice, Bouma et al. (Eerdmans, 1989)

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Mr. Lanting, a member of South Holland Protestant Reformed Church, is a practicing attorney. Droz does not belong to any religious organization that provides for its dependent members. Thus, permitting him to get out of the Social Security system would not only threaten the integrity of the system, but would threaten Congress’s goal of ensuring that persons who opt out are provided for and will not burden the public welfare system. Droz v. Commissioner of I.R.S., 48 F.3d 1120, 1123 (9th Cir. 1995) Taxpayers who earn self-employment income must pay a self-employment tax into the Social Security system. The Internal...

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Mr. Lanting, a member of South Holland Protestant Reformed Church, is a practicing attorney. “Defendant Nichols had the right, under the religious accommodation provision of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, to make a substituted charitable payment in lieu of joining or financially supporting the labor union.” Machinists & Aerospace Workers, Lodge 751 v. Boeing, 662 F.Supp. 1069 (1986). In the past, many evangelical churches condemned labor union affiliation as incompatible with membership in the church of Christ. But almost all denominations today, including most in the Reformed and Presbyterian tradition, have capitulated to “pew pressure” and quietly allow...

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Mr. Lanting, a member of South Holland Protestant Reformed Church, is a practicing attorney. “The abortion matter is not before us in the first instance, and coming as it does after nearly 20 years of litigation in Roe’s wake, we are satisfied that the immediate question is not the soundness of Roe’s resolution of the issue, but the precedential force that must be accorded to its holding. And we have concluded that the essential holding of Roe should be reaffirmed. Yet it must be remembered that Roe v. Wade speaks with clarity in establishing not only the woman’s liberty to...

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Mr. Lanting, a member of South Holland Protestant Reformed Church, is a practicing attorney. “Plaintiffs have failed to persuade us that the duty to prevent suicide (heretofore imposed only on psychiatrists and hospitals). . . should be extended to a nontherapist counselor who offers counseling to a potentially suicidal person on secular or spiritual matters. “  California Supreme Court,  Nally v. Grace Community Church, (Nov. 23, 1988). On April 1, 1979, Kenneth Nally, a 24-year-old seminary student suffering from chronic depression, committed suicide by shooting himself in the head with a shotgun. Soon thereafter his parents filed a “clergy malpractice”...

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Mr. Lanting, a member of South Holland Protestant Reformed Church, is a practicing attorney. Congress’ power extends only to “enforcing” the provisions of the Fourteenth Amendment. Legislation such as the RFRA which alters the meaning of the Free Exercise Clause cannot be said to be enforcing the Clause. Congress does not enforce a constitutional right by changing what that right is. The courts retain the power to determine if Congress has exceeded its authority under the Constitution. Broad as the power of Congress is, the RFRA contradicts vital principles necessary to maintain separation of powers and the federal balance. Boerne...

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Mr. Lanting, a member of South Holland Protestant Reformed Church, is a practicing attorney. Congress Passes Significant Religious Freedom Law On November 16, 1993, at a White House ceremony largely ignored by the secular press, President Clinton signed into law the new Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). Although the bill was supported by a smorgasbord of religious organizations of every stripe, it took almost two years of political maneuvering and debate before both houses of Congress agreed upon the final language of the federal statute. Church/state scholars and religious leaders have hailed the new law as a significant measure insuring...

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Mr. James Lanting, a member of South Holland Protestant Reformed Church, is a practicing attorney. We assume that the United States Constitution would grant a competent person a constitutionally protected right to refuse lifesaving hydration and nutrition. [Majority opinion, Cruzan v. Missouri Department of Health (1990)]  I would have preferred that we announce, clearly and promptly, that the federal courts have no business in this field; that American law has always accorded to the States the power to prevent, by force if necessary, suicide—including suicide by refusing to take appropriate measures necessary to preserve one’s life…. [Judge Scalia (concurring opinion),...

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