Trinity Lutheran Church, in Columbia, Missouri, has a very special logo: a red cross inside a purple heart, and underneath, "Love INC" (Love In the Name of Christ) (i.e., Jesus loved corporations…).
Trinity Lutheran asked the State of Missouri for a grant to use recycled tires to resurface a church playground. But the church's application was, quite sensibly, denied because the Missouri Constitution bars spending public money “directly or indirectly, in aid of any church.” Thirty-eight other states have similar provisions.
But Chief Justice John Roberts (with Donald Trump's Scalia Replacement, Justice Neil Gorsuch, in agreement) took issue with Missouri’s denial of the application because it was made by a church.
“The consequence is, in all likelihood, a few extra scraped knees,” the Chief Justice wrote. “But the exclusion of Trinity Lutheran from a public benefit for which it is otherwise qualified, solely because it is a church, is odious… and cannot stand."
With a solitary reporter observing very closely, at the precise moment that Trinity Lutheran was notified of the Supreme Court's decision in its favor, TLC’s Senior Pastor, Rev. Kenneth Gerike; its Associate Pastor, Rev. Brian Thieme; Angel Arnall, Church Secretary; and Gail Schuster, Trinity Lutheran’s Child Learning Center Director, all went to the church’s playground this morning and joyfully received multiple contusions as they intentionally scraped their knees after they learned that the highest court in the land had ruled in its favor in a landmark First Amendment religious freedom case.
Reverend Gerike was so thrilled by the news that he invited all the Catholics and other heretics in Columbia to join him on a special trip on Lutran Airlines, with his Associate Pastor, Rev. Thieme, as pilot.
As all Missouri's United Church of Christ members, as well as all the Unitarian Universalists, Presbyterians, Congregationalists, and United Methodists watched in amazement, Rev. Gerike, in his best Minnesota accent, introduced the gaping crowd to the virtues of Lutran Airlines:
“Ve are pleased to announce dat de Lutran Airlines is now operatin’ in Minnesota, Visconsin, Nordern Michigan, Missouri, and North and South Dakotas.
"Travelin' on da Lutran Airlines is a upliftin' experience, ‘cause we are da No Frills Airline. Everybody is responsible for der own baggage on da Lutran Air. All passengers must make a free vill offerin', and Reverend Thieme will not take off ’til da budget is met.
"Seating vill be by rows. Rows one through six, bring rolls. Seven through fifteen, a salad. Rows sixteen through twenty-one, a hot dish, and twenty-two through thirty, a dessert. Basses and tenors vill please sit in da rear of da aircraft.
"Now I vill say Grace. Come Lord Jesus, be our guest. Fadder, Son, and Holy Ghost, may ve land in Dulut...’
"...or pretty close.”
In other Supreme Court decisions announced today, the Scalia Replacement, Gorsuch, joined Justices Alito and Thomas when the Court partially reinstated Trump’s Muslim travel ban, only Gorsuch, Thomas, and Alito would have reinstated Trump’s Celebration of Xenophobia in its entirety. The other Justices, including the Chief Justice, said that if travelers from Libya, Syria, Sudan, Yemen, Somalia, and Iran can prove to Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly that they have been admitted to American universities, or have family here, or can otherwise make a good faith showing that they have connections in the US, they can come in, but those without such connections coming from those six mostly Muslim countries, tough cookie, go home and do your Haj.
Associate solitary reporter Matthew Elijah Smith and associate solitary reporter Susanna Sherman regret to inform our readers that Trump has reason to be happy today, even though TrumpMcConnellCare seems doomed to go down.