Jump directly to the content

Pastor, Church & Law

written by Richard R. Hammar, J.D., LL.M., CPA

The Smith Case

Volume 4 . Chapter 13 . § 13-02.1
Key point 13-02.1. In the Smith case (1990) the Supreme Court ruled that a neutral law of general applicability is presumably valid and need not be supported by a compelling government interest to be consistent with the First Amendment, even if it interferes with the exercise of religion.

Oregon law prohibits the intentional possession of a "controlled substance," including the drug peyote. Two employees of a private drug rehabilitation organization were fired from their jobs because they consumed peyote for "sacramental purposes" at a ceremony of the Native American Church. The two individuals applied for unemployment benefits under Oregon law, but their application was denied on the grounds that benefits are not payable to employees who are ...

Article Preview

This article is currently available to ChurchLawAndTax.com subscribers only. To continue reading:

This content is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. It is sold with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or other professional service. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional person should be sought. "From a Declaration of Principles jointly adopted by a Committee of the American Bar Association and a Committee of Publishers and Associations."

Due to the nature of the U.S. legal system, laws and regulations constantly change. The editors encourage readers to carefully search the site for all content related to the topic of interest and consult qualified local counsel to verify the status of specific statutes, laws, regulations, and precedential court holdings.


ChurchSalary

Receive a customized salary report for up to 18 different ministry positions. Learn how your church should compensate based on size, budget, location, and employee work experience.

Medical Emergency Preparation

Medical Emergency Preparation  Subscriber access only

Is your church ready for a medical emergency?
Understanding Pastoral Liability

Understanding Pastoral Liability  Subscriber access only

Know the situations in which a pastor is personally liable for wrongdoing.