Two Visions, Two Results

February 16, 2009
Most religious believers, whatever their age, see their minister once or twice a week for one or two hours a time. By contrast, children who attend a religiously affiliated school spend six or seven hours a day with their teachers. Parents of these children, who often select the school for religions reasons, whose children spend far more time at school than at church, might be surprised to learn that while the First Amendment protects the church’s ability to hire and fire a minister, courts cannot agree as to whether it also protects the religious school’s ability to hire or fire a teacher. In legalspeak, the courts disagree over the scope of the ministerial exception. This article addresses this persistent and important dispute....