SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Rev. Dr. Samuel Rodriguez, President of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, issues the following statement in reaction to SCOTUS Decision regarding religious institutions right to receive state funds for secular intent:
“Today, the Supreme Court rightly ruled that the prohibition of spending public money on ‘any church, sect, or denomination of religion’ was a violation of the Constitution’s free exercise of religion clause, when the purposes of those funds were spent with a secular intent.
“While it is disappointing that something as common sense as rubberizing a playground would be the cause for such a legal dispute, I am nonetheless grateful that the court has once and for all set the precedent that churches and other faith communities are vital and effective contributors to society and possess certain abilities, capacities and expertise that can and should be utilized for the public good.
“While the separation of church and state is useful in protecting all peoples of faith, it should never be used as a convenient legal ploy to marginalize and alienate religious organizations from the public discourse. I applaud the court’s ruling and am grateful for what is nothing short of a major victory for religious liberty in our time.”
Rev. Samuel Rodriguez is president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference. He has been named by CNN and Fox News as “the leader of the Hispanic Evangelical movement” and TIME Magazine nominated him among the 100 most influential leaders in America.
NHCLC/CONEL is the world’s largest Hispanic Christian organization. It serves as a representative voice for the more than 100 million Hispanic Evangelicals assembled in over 40,000 U.S. churches and another 500,000 congregations spread throughout the Spanish-speaking diaspora.