A case that started in Columbia, Missouri is now an object of interest in the District of Columbia.
I march to the beat of my own drummer when it comes to the jurisprudence of non-establishment. I don’t think a nativity scene in a court house constitutes the establishment of religion, while I think the fact that religious institutions can be (and usually are) 501(c) non-profits does constitute the establishment of religion. Meaning if I was on SCOTUS, I’d rule “not unconstitutional” on the former but “unconstitutional” on the latter. Just from that, you lawyers can probably easily make my razor on these matters: Social and cultural entanglement is not establishment, while institutional and financial entanglement is establishment. To put it another way, my establishment cause jurisprudence is such that it’s not a prohibition against religiosity in public society, but does ordain that as institutions, the state and religious institutions should have separate lanes.
Whence this case out of Columbia?
My hot inclination would have been to rule for DNR, just based off my personal jurisprudence.
However, after giving it some thought, I’d rule for Trinity.
It is no more an actual establishment of religion nor begging for undue state suasion over church affairs for DNR to give shredded old tires to Trinity to make its kiddie playground safer than it is for the Columbia Fire Department to respond there to put out a fire in one of its buildings.
Full disclosure: Trinity Lutheran of Columbia is LCMS, and your blogmeister is LCMS.