Wisconsin Court Shouldn’t Confine Religion Within Church Walls

June 23, 2023

In an article published today at Religion Unplugged titled, “Wisconsin Court Shouldn’t Confine Religion Within Church Walls” RFI’s Paul Marshall highlights a case that will decide whether “a Catholic charity is ‘religious’ enough to qualify for the legal benefits that apply to religious organizations.” The court is taking this case — Catholic Charities Bureau v. Wisconsin Labor & Industrial Review Commission — because two lower court decisions, involving two different Catholic charities, came to opposite conclusions. Marshall writes:

One ruling allowed a Catholic disabilities nonprofit to opt out of Wisconsin’s state unemployment system and instead contribute to a church-run system. In the second ruling, in a similar case, a different court denied the application from the charity, which has now appealed the decision. The appeals court upheld this decision, and the appeal has now gone to the state’s Supreme Court.

The major question that the justices will consider is whether the organizations are more “charitable” than “religious.” In its submission, the Wisconsin Labor and Industry Review Commission argued the increasingly common and pernicious view that if a charity provides services to people of all faiths and doesn’t evangelize, then it should not receive a religious exemption.

Read the full article: “Wisconsin Court Shouldn’t Confine Religion Within Church Walls.”