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Author Topic: Appeals court upholds church veto on membership  (Read 926 times)

mlr52

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Appeals court upholds church veto on membership
« on: June 30, 2012, 08:45:54 pm »
Appeals court upholds church veto on membership
Jun 28, 2012
Joseph A. Slobodzian, The Philadelphia Inquirer

http://www.arcamax.com/religionandspirituality/religiousnews/s-1164957-980924

PHILADELPHIA -- A lot of disputes wind up being settled by the courts but a church members excommunication will not be one of them, a federal appeals court panel ruled Thursday.

A unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit affirmed the dismissal of a lawsuit by Joseph Askew against Bishop Kenneth Shelton and the trustees of the General Assembly of the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ of the Apostolic Faith Inc.

"The Church entrusts the General Overseer with power to decide when it is in the best interest of the congregation to terminate an individual's membership," wrote U.S. Circuit Judge Michael A. Chagares. "Determining when excommunication is necessary ... undoubtedly involves a complex balancing of spiritual and pragmatic considerations, all properly left to the highest church authority, not civil courts."

Looks like the got this one right.
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Altair

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Re: Appeals court upholds church veto on membership
« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2012, 08:53:55 pm »
Quote from: mlr52;62306
Appeals court upholds church veto on membership

[SNIP]

Looks like the got this one right.


I can't imagine how the civil courts could get involved in excommunication. Division of church property when schism occurs--that I can see.
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Rhyshadow

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Re: Appeals court upholds church veto on membership
« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2012, 08:57:28 pm »
Quote from: Altair;62307
I can't imagine how the civil courts could get involved in excommunication. Division of church property when schism occurs--that I can see.

 
A suit was filed, they at least had to rule on the merits of the suit itself - which is what this decision was - dismissing the lawsuit

RandallS

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Re: Appeals court upholds church veto on membership
« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2012, 09:15:29 pm »
Quote from: Altair;62307
I can't imagine how the civil courts could get involved in excommunication. Division of church property when schism occurs--that I can see.


100% agreement. Excommunication (or accepting members in a church in the first place) is clearly a First Amendment "government hands off" religion issue. I can't imagine any rational court in the US -- no matter what the political affiliation of the judge(s) -- who would find otherwise.
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