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that we teach is religious. For instance, two plus two equals four is religious because it is truth, and Jesus said I am The Truth or the Source of Truth. Therefore, if two plus two equals four is true, it came from Jesus thus making it religious. However, the court made a willful decision that there were certain truths which could no longer be considered religious. He the judge decided that Math, Science, Social
Studies, and History and any other subject which he would call secular
would come under the police power of the state.
front one of the major problems causing persecution over religious
conscience. The government must not, cannot, and should not define what
is acceptable religious practice for another person or any of its
If the court had only asked the questions, who is injured and what property is destroyed? Since there is no injury then whatever we believe as our religious faith would have been protected by the First Amendment and the Nebraska State Constitution, Article 1, Section 4.
It is very convenient for the IRS or the Labor Department or for the
Education Department or some bureaucratic organization to say we are not
persecuting religion because we define this as non-religious. It just so happens though that to thousands and millions of Americans the education of their children is a religious function.
This could be said about almost every act of tyranny being carried out against Christians. It must be understood that actual crime is not protected under our Constitution nor is it protected by the scriptures. Many people have said, well if you're going to allow anything to be religious then someone may kill babies in the name of religion. Well,
of course, you and I know that over eighteen million have been killed
and no one seems to care about that. However, we do have laws against
murder. Anytime there is a common law crime meaning a murder, bodily
injury, property damage, infringement on another person's rights, or the disruption of peace and tranquility in the community, all of those actions would be regulatable by the government and punishable by the court. However, in our case and in the case of Rev. Moon and the case
of Bob Jones University and the case of literally thousands of churches
and Christians across America this is not the case. They simply are not
Therefore, we would plead with this committee to introduce legis
lation which would prohibit any federal or state government or bureaucracy
or agency from infringing on the right of any individual relating to religion as that individual would define his religious beliefs unless
it is in the matter of commission of common law crime. We would'also
beseech this committee to include in that legislation some form of redress
of grievance. We have literally spent a million dollars in the courts,
Not one time have we ever had a favorable decision; not one time have we
had a Writ of Habeas Corpus granted; not one time have we had any decision favorable from the courts. It is obvious that there is a conspiracy between the judges of the State of Nebraska even up to the Federal District level. There must be a removal of this cloak of immunity for judges. There must be a removal of a cloak of immunity from any official. There must be redress of grievance or there will be revolution,
for not allowing an exemption for those whose religion the regula-
tion infringes.2o Finally, the state must demonstrate that there are
no less restrictive alternatives available to achieve its compelling
state interest.21 Only then will the state regulation be upheld.
Consequently, the heavy burden resting upon the state when it
seeks to justify an infringement of one's religious practices works
to assure Americans that freedom of individual conscience in reli-
gious matters will be preserved.
That assurance, however, has been shaken by the recent Ne-
braska Supreme Court decision in Douglas v. Faith Baptist
Church, 22 where the court bypassed an excellent opportunity to
further solidify the "unalienable right"23 of the individual to serve
his God as his conscience demands. The case centered around
private religious school operated by the Faith Baptist Church of
Louisville, Nebraska. From the school's inception in 1977,24 de
tendants took the position that the operation of the school is sim-
ply an extension of the ministry of the church, over which the
State of Nebraska has no authority to approve or accredit. As a
result, defendants refused to comply with state education regula.
tions.26 More specifically, they refused to: (1) furnish a list of the
Toomas Review Bd, 450 US. 707, 718 (1901), Wisconsin v. Yoder. 400 US
205, 221-22, 236 (1972), Sherbert , Verner, 374 U.S. 398, 409-07 (1903). As the
Court stated in Yoder: 1jt was incumbent on the State to show with more
particularity how lus admittedly strong interest in compulsory education
would be adversely affected by manting an exempelon to the Amiah" 406
U.S. at 238.
n. Thomas v. Review BL. 150 U.S. 707, 718 (1901), Wisconsin v. Yoder, to US
205, 215 (1972). Sherbert v. Verner, 374 U.S. 394, 407 (1903).
22 207 Neb. 802.301 N.W.20 571, cert denied, 102 S. Cl. 15 (1981).
James Madison called this right an "unalienable right in there now famous
words: The religion, then, of every man, must be ler to the conviction and
conscience of every man, and it is the right of every man to exercise it as
these may dictate. This right is, in ius nature, an unalienable nicht. A
STOKES LLPTEITER, CHURCH AND STATE BY THE UNITED STATES SA (IMA).
24 201 Neb, at 104, 301 N.W.2d at 372.
25. Id at 308, 301 N.W2d at $74
2. Nes. Rev. STAT. 70-201 (Reissue 1976) requires children between the area of
7 and 16 o attend regularly the public, private, denominational, or parochial
day schools each day that such ichools are open and in session. Nea. Rev.
STAT. $79-323 (Reissue 1976) gives the Suate Board of Education the power
and duty to supervise the state school system. Id. 79-328 (5), "establish...
procedures for classifying, approving, and accrediting schools," id, and pub-
Ush laws and regulations covering the schools." Id.
Pursuant to this power, the Suate Board of Education promulgated a rule
which provided: Only school systems approved ... by the State Board of
Education are considered to be providing program of instruction which is in
compliance with the compulsory attendance laws." Nebraska State Departo
ment of Education, Rule 14 (May 1, 1970). The Rule further speckled curie
lum requirements and the requirement that a professional mal member
employed by a school musthold a valid Nebraska certificate ... ssued by
In the area of state teacher certification requirements, there are
several situations in which a free exercise infringement may arise,
depending upon whose free exercise interests are considered.si
Under Yoder, if there is a conflict between the parent's religious
beliefs and a state regulation requiring that children be taught by.
certified teachers, the infringement tier of the free exercise test
would be satisfied. For example, if a parent objects for religious
reasons to the certification itsell or to something a teacher must do
to obtain certification, there would be an infringement.52 The par.
ent is faced with a choice of whether to obey the government and
violate bis religious principles or to obey his conscience and vio-
late the state law,50
A more dimcult problem is presented where there is no in.
fringement of the parent's religious beliefs, but there is a conflict
between the teacher's religious beliefs and the certification re.
quirements. If there is an infringement of the teacher's free exer-
cise of religion, 54 potentially creating the right to teach without
certification, there would necessarily have to be a right accorded to
the parents to have their children educated by a noncertified
teacher. Otherwise the teacher would have no pupils to teach
upon exercising his free exercise right. This situation could arise
where the teacher has a direct religious reason for not obtaining
certification, or where the teacher, because of a religious prefer
ence, chooses to attend a nonapproved higher educational institu-
tion and then after graduation, seeks to teach without meeting the
certification requirements. In the latter situation, an indirect reli-
gious preference rather than a direct religious obstacle would force
the individual to make a choice.SS
Another type of indirect conflict is presented where a parent
who does not object to state certiAcation requirements neverthe.
less places his children with a teacher lacking certification simply
because no teacher possessing a certificate and satisfying the par
ent's personal religious beliefs was available. In this situation, al-
though the conflict with the state certifcation requirement is
indirect, it should be sufficient to give rise to an infringement.se
state's interest in compelling teacher certification stems founda-
tionally from and is limited analytically by the state's interest in
compulsory education, 59 an examination of the state's interest in
compelling education is necessary,60
Under both our democratic political system and our free enter-
prise economic system, education is imperative in order to achieve
the effective and intelligent participation of individuals necessary
to propel the systems.61 Accordingly, the state generally would
B. Compelling State laterest
When attempting to determine the constitutionality of a state
education regulation which is challenged by an individual on free
exercise grounds, the Anding of an intringement only begins the
analytical process. The burden of proof then shifts to the state to
show compelling state interest in sustaining the regulation as ap-
plied to the particular individual.57 Accordingly, in a challenge to
teacher certification requirements, the state must present a com-
pelling reason for not allowing an exemption from the require.
ments of the regulation for this particular individual.se Since the
exemption. Thomas v. Review Bd., 450 U.S. 707 (1981), Wisconsin v. Yoder,
406 U.S. 205 (1972), Sherbert v. Verner, 374 U.S. 398 (1963), Braunfeld v.
Brown, 366 U.S. 599 (1981). Protecting the establishment clause principle by
not granting exemptions to general nondiscriminatory legislation is not a
compelling state interest. Thomas v. Review Bd., 150 U.S. 707 (1981), McDan.
iel v. Paty. 435 U.S. 618 (1978). Sherbert v, Verner, 374 U.S. 398 (1953). Nor is
the state's interest in the overall subject matter under consideration a com-
pelling state interest If that were true, the Sherbert, Yoder, and Thomas
cases would have been decided differently since in each case the state had a
compelling interest in the general subject matter.
59. Except for government standards relating to the health and safety of chil-
dren, most government regulations of private schools stem from the state's
Interest in compelling education. Thus the state must have compelling in-
terest in the underlying education to justify a particular requirement, such as
leacher certincation. The state would probably lack the requisite level of in-
terest to require certication of teachers who instruct in subjects not associ.
ated with the state's genuine educational interest. For example, the state
does not and probably could not require all Sunday school teachers, pastors,
priests, nuns, or other religious instructors to obtain a license from the state
before being permitted to leach. Since the state does not have compelling
interest in religious education, it does not have a compelling interest in certi
Aying teachers to teach religious matters. Moreover, the state, hopefully,
could not require that all parents receive licenses to teach before permitting
them to teach their children. This is because the state's interest in the regu.
lation of education within the family is not sumcient to justity such
0 For a general history of compulsory educational requirements, see Rothbard,
Historical Origins, in THE TWELVE-YEAR SENTENCE 11 (W. Rickenbacker ed.
1974). Court cases since Yoder involving challenges to compulsory education
include: Hanson v. Cushman, 190 7. Supp. 109 (W.D. Mich. 1980), Seoma v.
Chicago Bd of Educ, 391 7. Supp. 452 (N.D. . 1974), Hill v. Sute, 381 So. 2d
91 (Ala. Crim. App. 1979), People v. Serna, 71 Cal. App. 3d 229, 139 Cal Rpur.
426 (1977), Kentucky Suate Bd for Elementary & Secondary Educ. v. Rudasill
589 S.W.20 877 (Ky. 1979), cort denied, 16 U.S. 938 (1980), Douglas v. Faith
Baptist Church, 207 Neb. 802, 301 N.W2d 571, cert denied, 102 S. ČL 75 (1981),
Inne Pranz S5 A.D.2d 124, 390 N.Y.S.2d 940 (1977), In Te R79 Misc. 2d 339, 357
N.Y.S.2d 1001 (Fam. CL 1974), Ire McMillan, 30 N.C. App. 235, 226 S.E 2d 690
(1976). Slate v. Shaver, 234 N.W.28 883 (N.D. 1980), Slate v. Whisner, 47 Ohio
SL 2d 181, 351 N.E2d 750 (1976), Slate v, LaBarge, 134 VL 776 357 A.2d 121
(1976), Suate v. Kasubosid, 7 Wis. 2d 407, 775 N.W.24 101 (1978).
61. Decision-making, necessary in a tree society, may only be properly made
when adequate knowledge of the available facus is obtained. A lack of knowl.
edge translates directly into bad decisions and consistent bad decisions lead
to one's demise, whether politically or economically. Consequently, unlike a
55. Whether an Infringement would be found in this situation would depend
upon the particular lacts involved. If the teacher had only to apply to be cer.
tihed, generally no infringement could be shown. On the other hand, il grad.
uation from an approved college were required to obtain certincation,
infringement might be shown in the prospective teacher's forced choice of
attending an approved college in order to be certified or forgoing his opportu.
nity to teach and attending the college which he, for religious reasons, wishes
s. See Sherbert v. Verner, 374 U.S. 390 (1998). The Sherbert Court stated: "For
of the purpose or effect of a law is to Impede the observance of one or all
religions or is to discriminate invidiously between religions, that law is con-
stitutionally Invalid even though the burden may be characterized as being
only Indirect Id at 404 (citation omitted). Accord, Thomas V. Review Bd
450 U.S. 707 (1981). This situation is different than the situation in notes
pra, in that here there is no issue involving intringement as to the teacher. 37. See note 20 L accompanying text pra, Wisconsin v. Yoder, 406 U.S. 205, 219
(1972) Wustrates the dimiculty the state has in sustaining iu burden in this area. 56 The state's burden is always one of showing an interest in nos alowing an