Religious Law Articles (3)
L. Martin Nussbaum, Esq., Theresa Lynn Sidebotham, Esq.
Child abuse is abhorrent. Society and the Church condemn it. The crime is so grave that ministries struggle to craft responses that are godly and balanced. Such responses require extraordinary judgment by ministry leaders. They must, at once, prevent abuse; afford due process; cooperate with law enforcement; avoid re-harming both known and unknown victims; provide compassionate assistance; protect confidences; preserve reputations of the innocent; discipline or remove offenders; comply with church law; and steward ministry resources. This article offers ministry leaders lessons from the Catholic sexual abuse scandal. These lessons are more necessary than ever as the dramatically declining settlements from Catholic institutions1push plaintiffs' attorneys to develop new markets including Boy Scouts, Southern Baptists, Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons, Orthodox Jews, some Protestant denominations, and missionary sending organizations.2The Catholic prequel shapes allegations now surfacing against Protestant boarding schools. As the attack against Protestant ministries accelerates,3some could face a threat of the magnitude that bankrupted eight Catholic dioceses and two Catholic religious orders. ... Read More →
This article discusses the intersection of religious expression and public schools. It focuses on the Equal Access Act, student speech, school personnel speech, access for community viewpoints, and released time.
Confusion is widespread as to what may be taught, expressed, or otherwise introduced onto the premises of the nation’s public schools. “Nowhere has the proper line of demarcation [in the appropriate amount of separation between church and state] been more difficult to define than in our nation’s public schools.”1As the Tenth Circuit has said:
So long as the state engages in the widespread business of molding the belief structure of children, the often recited metaphor of a “wall of separation” between the church and the state is unavoidably illusory.2... Read More →