Comment on LA SIERRA: First Amendment cited in university lawsuit by Bruce N. Cameron.
No, Wayne, your understanding is wrong. I’m a law professor and I assure you that a church does not become a “state entity” or forfeit its constitutional rights just because it establishes a corporate structure or obtains a certain tax status with the government. Furthermore, corporations have constitutional rights.
If a church has an educational ministry, it gets to decide who should be its ministers. The state can no more tell the church who should be its ministers than the church can tell the state who should run the government. If LaSierra is right that its administrators are part of its educational ministry, then the government cannot tell the church who should be its ministers or what procedure it should follow in selecting and deselecting its ministers.