Church under fire
First, they got some good news from the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled unanimously that churches can fire employees for religious reasons. That means the government doesn't get to see its rules interfere with church practices, and hence beliefs.
However, just as quickly comes word that federal health regulations will force churches to provide employees with health care that includes contraceptives and abortions, even churches that oppose such practices. I wonder how this rule would last considering the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling; however, it'll be a moot point as it appears that the president's people aren't going to want this to linger during the election season. Something may be worked out.
Now, locally, comes a story about a Baptist preacher who took a confession of a teen he suspected of sexually abusing a child. The child had already reported the incident to family and the church official, who then questioned the accused teen. The preacher then was ready to testify about the confession. The Court of Appeals will hear arguments about whether the confession can be given in testimony.
In one way, I understand the preacher wanted to help justice and wanted to know if the allegation was true. I'd want a confession and I would certainly take it to police. What I wonder is if the confession was given to a church leader who was acting as an authoritative figure and as an agent for the police. Should the teen have been advised of his rights to not self incriminate?
Tough issue for the church, but what's clear is the state is not trying to force the confession into court against the will of the preacher. Rather, the preacher wants to do what's right, but does that trample on the rights of the teen, who may be a pervert.