Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission is a religious nonprofit organization that serves the homeless of the city by providing services like addiction recovery and job placement in addition to food and shelter. The organization “exists to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ” and therefore wants to ensure that each of its employees lives by that mission.
One of the programs the organization offers is “Open Door Legal Services.” When the organization was in the process of hiring a lawyer to work in the legal aid clinic, they of course wanted someone who was aligned with the group’s religious beliefs, because the person in that position would be doing things like attending worship services, prayer groups, and talking about Jesus Christ openly in addition to providing the legal services.
Matthew Woods applied for the position “with the stated intent of changing the Mission’s religious beliefs and without satisfying the prerequisites of regular church attendance, a pastor’s recommendation, and an explanation of his relationship with Jesus.” As such, the Mission chose to hire someone who shared their religious beliefs. Matthew Woods sued.
A trial court agreed that the Mission was well within its rights, but the Washington Supreme Court overruled that decision and claimed that Mission has no First Amendment rights when it comes to hiring decisions.
This ridiculous, unconstitutional law essentially forces Washington nonprofits to hire individuals who do not align with organizational missions or even openly contradict them. Thus, Alliance Defending Freedom is asking the United States Supreme Court to rule in favor of Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission and cement the right to hire in accordance with mission.
The petition to the Supreme Court reads:
“The Constitution’s coreligionist exemption— recognized by the federal government and six circuits but not the Washington Supreme Court—allows religious organizations to condition employment on adherence to religious tenets so that religious groups can maintain self-identifying communities of likeminded believers.
The exemption is crucial for free exercise to thrive; after all, a religious nonprofit’s purpose will be undermined if it is forced to hire those who subvert the group’s religious beliefs.”
What is the purpose of having a mission-driven organization if you cannot hire employees who are committed to that mission?
If your mission is to bring Jesus Christ to others, is it not rational that you would want employees who share in that commitment to Jesus Christ?
“Woe to them that make wicked laws: and when they write, write injustice…” (Isaiah 10:1)
The United States Supreme Court has the opportunity to ensure that throughout the country, religious organizations can hire based on their beliefs. States with pagan leaders are determined to undermine the work of Christian organizations, and a SCOTUS ruling in favor of Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission would significantly hamper the godless efforts of these radicals.
Pray for the wisdom of the United States Supreme Court, and pray that our country turns back towards true freedom and justice for all.