The Center for Inquiry, which joined an amicus brief against the church, denounced the decision, arguing that the ruling will lead to other secular government programs being compelled to fund church ministries.
In a statement released Monday, CFI Legal Director Nicholas Little said that the ruling "has detonated a massive breach in the wall of separation between church and state."
"In fact the justices have laid the groundwork for additional confusion and conflict, as they have they provided no real method for deciding whether future applications by churches for taxpayer subsidy will be acceptable or not," said Little.
"In paying for the renovation of its playground, the state of Missouri relieves Trinity Lutheran Church of a financial burden, which frees the church to use those funds for explicitly sectarian purposes. That is unacceptable."