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California Supreme Court Mis-Rules
on Episcopal Church Property Rights

F. Earle Fox

My expertise is decidedly not constitutional law.  I am a theologian/philosopher/pastor by trade and training.  But since about 1992, I have had a strong interest in the development of Biblical government, and have been led across the paths of some folks who are indeed experts on constitutional law.  In the process, I have been receiving an enormous education on the subject. 

Constitutional law is more complex than what one can understand merely by knowing law.  Law itself has implications from philosophy, history, logic, and other disciplines, all of which must be brought together in order for law to come together.  My experiences with some of these other areas have been helpful in guiding me through the pathways of law to my present conclusions.  Most importantly of all, theology and history. 

I knew early on (from my junior year, 1955, at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut), that there is only one law, that the law of God rules the whole universe, and that all human government is legally subject to the law of God.  The realization came for me as a logical deduction, more or less, along with what I can only call a word from the Lord.  That experience resulted in a paper, Defining 'Oughtness' & 'Love', written for a religion class.  I was majoring in philosophy, aiming for the Episcopal priesthood, and finding that the philosophers to whom my mind was being exposed were missing some key points about the nature of ethics and morality.  That paper was my response, and I have seen no reason over the intervening 54 years to change my mind. 


Three churches in the Episcopal diocese of Los Angeles have dissociated themselves from the diocese, and won the first round of legal battles to retain their property.  The diocese, however, won their appeal, and so the matter went to the California Supreme Court.  That Court upheld the appeal, giving the property to the diocese.  The local churches still have legal options which they are pursuing.  Click here for the Supreme Court decision.

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Date Posted -  01/18/2009   -   Date Last Edited - 09/15/2012