On Tuesday, the Wisconsin Supreme Court agreed to hear a case about religious freedom. A Wisconsin-based Catholic charity, created and operated by a Catholic diocese, was told it was not eligible for legal benefits reserved for organizations operated primarily for religious purposes. Last year a Wisconsin appellate court ruled that the nonprofit is not operated primarily for religious purposes because proselytizing is not a primary focus. Because of this ruling, the charity is forced to contribute money to the state’s unemployment system.
We were part of a brief urging the high court to take this case and are pleased they have done so. If the state can decide a Catholic Charity is not “religious,” then it could certainly decide that, say, Christian schools, whose primary focus is education, not proselytizing, are not religious. That would be true even for schools that operate under the auspices of a church.