Court Rules In Favor Of LC - KALB-TV News Channel 5 & CBS 2

Court Rules In Favor Of LC

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PINEVILLE, La. - Judge Doggett, 9th Judicial Court completely dismissed all plaintiffs' claims against Louisiana College in a ruling issued on Friday.

The other plaintiffs are Dr. Leon Hyatt Jr., Kent Aguillard, Alan Shoemaker, Amy Russell and Dr. Joe Aguillard, who are also former professors.

According to the statement, the court found that it was clear that the matter was a religious dispute. In dismissing all claims of Carlton Winbery, Fredrick Downing, James Heath and Connie Douglas, the court said it would not, and could not under our constitution, decide religious disputes and rule based on differences regarding Baptist polity.

The dispute centered on whether or not the Bible is the inerrant Word of God Himself.  Louisiana College, a Southern Baptist institution, operates in accordance with the Baptist Faith and Message 2000.

The court's ruling derives from the establishment clause of the First Amendment that Congress is prohibited from making any law "respecting an establishment of religion." The court's decision would require the court to choose sides in a dispute over Baptist Theology, which violates the establishment clause. The court has said that it does not have the power to choose which Baptist view is correct and it is impossible to rule on this dispute between religion teachers and a religious college without interpreting Baptist polity.

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