Thursday, December 18, 2008

Law Review Articles by Tom Berg on Religious Organizational Freedom in the Benefits/Funding Context

Here are two law review articles from Tom Berg that help to advance the debate surrounding the freedom of religious organizations

Religious Organizational Freedom and Conditions on Government Benefits
Thomas C. Berg
Georgetown Journal of Law & Public Policy (2009)

This article is from the 2008 Church Autonomy Conference - "The Things That Are Not Caesar’s: Religious Organizations as a Check on the Authoritarian Pretensions of the State," (video of Tom Berg's segment) co-sponsored by Federalist Society and held at Georgetown Law School in March.

Berg takes concepts of church autonomy and church-state separation and argues that they call for respect for the freedom of religious organizations in a number of situations when the government is providing funding or other benefits and imposing conditions on them.

He defends religious organizations' freedom in three important contexts: freedom for religion-based hiring by religious organizations receiving funding, and freedom for engagement in political activity and for selection of clergy by tax-exempt organizations.

Religious Choice and Exclusions of Religion
Thomas C. Berg
PENNumbra, 2008

This an invited short reply piece in the U. Penn. Law Review's online format, PENNumbra. Here Berg responds to and criticizes a piece by Nelson Tebbe of Brooklyn Law School that defends the singling out of religion for exclusion from government benefits programs. Berg argues that preserving religious choice is a central concern of the Religion Clauses and based on precedent, tradition and concepts pertaining to the Religion Clauses, as well as the fact that they are counter-majoritarian while Tebbe's position gives majorities great discretion over religious matters.