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NRB APPLAUDS HIGH COURT DECISION:

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For Immediate Release
October 4, 2011

Contact:
Laura Wright
Mary Montemayor
703-330-7000

 

 

 

 

Manassas, VA –  NRB is cautiously optimistic in the wake of yesterday’s Supreme Court announcement that the high court will not hear an appeal of Sylvia Spencer v. World Vision, Inc.

In August 2010, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that World Vision qualified as a religious organization under the 1964 Civil Rights Act, and was therefore within its legal rights to fire employees who no longer subscribed to the organization’s statement of faith. “The heart and soul of religious freedom is the element of free exercise,” said Dr. Frank Wright, NRB President & CEO. “Nowhere is this freedom more essential than in the selection of ministry leaders and staff. In a series of confused decisions, some lower courts have argued that religious organizations can and should be forced to hire employees not subscribing to the core values of those faith-based organizations. Striking a blow for both reason and freedom, the Supreme Court has wisely refused to hear an appeal that would have chall enged this essential freedom.”

“The decision of the Supreme Court to let stand the 9th Circuit decision means at least one thing: we have a positive court interpretation that respects the autonomy of faith-based groups to make their own hiring decisions. This must be balanced though against all the many bad court decisions that have gone the other way,” cautioned NRB Sr. Vice President & General Counsel Craig Parshall. “Vigilance still needs to be the watchword for Christian ministries.”