By Arlin M. Adams
Here's a concise evaluation of the ancient improvement and judicial interpretation of the 1st modification faith clauses. It starts with a survey of the historical past of yankee spiritual liberty, is going directly to current the perspectives of the Founding Fathers, after which considers the center worth of non secular liberty and the constitutional reasons that enforce that price.
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Extra resources for A Nation Dedicated to Religious Liberty
Page 1 Introduction Recognizing that an examination of history can be hazardous as well as fruitful, we will address the historical meaning of a constitutional provision that represents one of America's great contributions to Western civilization. 1 The First Amendment of the United States Constitution declares, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. . "2 This provision, known as the religion clauses, contains two prohibitions against Congress: the first is referred to as the establishment clause, the second as the free exercise clause.
5 They were not necessarily irreligious; as adherents of deism, Jefferson and Paine rejected divine revelation, but affirmed the existence of an impersonal Creator, one indifferent to his creation, on the basis of reason and nature. Madison, while circumspect about his religious beliefs, adhered to views closer to traditional Christian doctrine. Although all three saw the necessity of institutional separation, they represented a spectrum of views: from Paine, an extreme separationist, to Madison, who expressed concern for both true piety and government.
Although some would read Jefferson's ''wall" as a clause in the Constitution, rather than a comment in a letter, the Court has allowed such obvious "aids" to religion as school bus transportation for parochial school students and tax exemptions for churches and church-sponsored schools. Beyond that, the Supreme Court has held that opening legislative sessions with a prayer, as Congress has done with government-paid chaplains for more than 200 years, does not conflict with the establishment clause.
A Nation Dedicated to Religious Liberty by Arlin M. Adams