Church State and Original Intent

Author: Donald L. Drakeman
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 0521119189
Format: PDF, Mobi
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This provocative book shows how the justices of the United States Supreme Court have used constitutional history, portraying the Framers' actions in a light favoring their own views about how church and state should be separated. Drakeman examines church-state constitutional controversies from the Founding Era to the present, arguing that the Framers originally intended the establishment clause only as a prohibition against a single national church.

Original Intent

Author: David Barton
Publisher: BookBaby
ISBN: 1932225854
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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In their own words, the Supreme Court has become “a national theology board,” “a super board of education,” and amateur psychologists on a “psycho-journey.” The result has been a virtual rewriting of the liberties enumerated in the Constitution. A direct victim of this judicial micromanagement has been the religious aspect of the First Amendment. For example, the Court now interprets that Amendment under: • a “Lemon Test” absurdly requiring religious expression to be secular, • an “Endorsement Test” pursuing an impossible neutrality between religion and secularism, • and a “Psychological Coercion Test” allowing a single dissenter to silence an entire community’s religious expression. Additional casualties of judicial activism have included protections for State’s rights, local controls, separation of powers, legislative supremacy, and numerous other constitutional provisions. Why did earlier Courts protect these powers for generations, and what has caused their erosion by contemporary Courts? "Original Intent" answers these questions. By relying on thousands of primary sources, "Original Intent" documents (in the Founding Fathers’ own words) not only the plan for limited government originally set forth in the Constitution and Bill of Rights but how that vision can once again become reality.

Separation of Church and State What the Founders Meant

Author: David Barton
Publisher: BookBaby
ISBN: 1483502287
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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This book is very timely for one of the most frequently debated issues in America: the separation of church and state. Where did this phrase originate? Was it always meant to prohibit expressions of religious faith in public settings as many claim today? Learn the answers to these questions and discover the Founding Fathers own words and intents in this book! With all these resources, you will be able to clearly understand the original intent of the Founding Fathers and be able to share those beliefs with others!

Original intent

Author: Derek Davis
Publisher:
ISBN:
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Summarizes the views of the Chief Justice, and looks at the role of original intent in constitutional law

Original Intent and the Framers Constitution

Author: Leonard W. Levy
Publisher: Ivan R. Dee
ISBN: 1461730287
Format: PDF, ePub
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For more than two hundred years a debate has raged between those who believe that jurists should follow the original intentions of the Founding Fathers and those who argue that the Constitution is a living document subject to interpretation by each succeeding generation. The controversy has flared anew in our own time as a facet of the battle between conservatives and liberals. In Original Intent and the Framers' Constitution, the distinguished constitutional scholar Leonard Levy cuts through the Gordian Knot of claim and counterclaim with an argument that is clear, logical, and compelling. Rejecting the views of both left and right, he evaluates the doctrine of "original intent" by examining the sources of constitutional law and landmark cases. Finally, he finds no evidence for grounding the law in original intent. Judicial activism—the constant reinterpretation of the Constitution—he sees as inevitable.

Religion and the Continental Congress 1774 1789

Author: Derek H. Davis
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780195350883
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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How did the constitutional framers envision the role of religion in American public life? Did they think that the government had the right to advance or support religion and religious activities? Or did they believe that the two realms should remain forever separate? Throughout American history, scholars, Supreme Court justices, and members of the American public have debated these questions. The debate continues to have significance in the present day, especially in regard to public schools, government aid to sectarian education, and the use of public property for religious symbols. In this book, Derek Hamilton Davis offers the first comprehensive examination of the role of religion in the proceedings, theories, ideas, and goals of the Continental Congress. Those who argue that the United States was founded as a "Christian Nation" have made much of the religiosity of the founders, particularly as it was manifested in the ritual invocations of a clearly Christian God as well as in the adoption of practices such as government-sanctioned days of fasting and thanksgiving, prayers and preaching before legislative bodies, and the appointments of chaplains to the Army. Davis looks at the fifteen-year experience of the Continental Congress (1774-1789) and arrives at a contrary conclusion: namely, that the revolutionaries did not seek to entrench religion in the federal state. Congress's religious activities, he shows, expressed a genuine but often unreflective popular piety. Indeed, the whole point of the revolution was to distinguish society, the people in its sovereign majesty, from its government. A religious people would jealously guard its own sovereignty and the sovereignty of God by preventing republican rulers from pretending to any authority over religion. The idea that a modern nation could be premised on expressly theological foundations, Davis argues, was utterly antithetical to the thinking of most revolutionaries.

Original Intentions

Author: Melvin Eustace Bradford
Publisher:
ISBN: 9780820315218
Format: PDF, Mobi
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This persuasively argued, decidedly partisan work aims to recover the original United States Constitution by describing its genesis, ratification, and mandate from the perspectives of its original framers. Openly challenging contemporary orthodoxy, M. E. Bradford employs principles of legal, historical, rhetorical, and dramatic analysis to reveal a Constitution notably short on abstract principles and modest in any goal beyond limiting the powers of the government it authorizes. From the beginning of Original Intentions, two sharply divergent convictions about the Constitution emerge. Bradford, arguing from a nomocratic viewpoint, regards the Constitution as an essentially procedural text created expressly to detail how the government may preside over itself not its people. He decries the currently predominant teleologic view, which is based upon the "principles" embodied by the Constitution, and holds that the document was designed to achieve a certain kind of society. By this view, he says, our fundamental laws have been blanketed by a heavy layer of ad hoc solutions to problems they were never intended to address, and then further obscured by the melioristic meddlings of judges, legislators, lawyers, scholars, and journalists. Bradford first shows that the Constitutional convention of 1787 was an enterprise guided by the delegates' hesitancy to impose a higher order over their local, practical, and vastly differing interests. Though all the states would ratify the Constitution, he says, each would interpret it in unique ways. Bradford underscores the dearth of lofty idealism among the original framers by detailing British influences on their political ethos. British common law, on which the framers heavily relied, evolved from a tradition of deliberate responses to practical needs and circumstances, not deductions from abstract utopian designs. In light of these factors, Bradford examines the ratification debates of Massachusetts, South Carolina, and North Carolina - three states that together exemplified the vast range of interests to be accommodated by the Constitution. Next Bradford highlights classic teleologic distortions. Discussing religion and the first amendment, he establishes a pervasive commitment to Christianity among the framers and challenges our notions about the separation of church and state. Warning against anachronistic readings of the Constitution, Bradford also analyzes the rhetoric of the framers to reinforce our awareness of their desire for a government that would contain their multiplicities, not seek to resolve them. In a reading of the Reconstruction amendments (thirteen, fourteen, and fifteen) Bradford argues that they had only a modest impact on the Constitution's original design. By the misconstruction of these amendments, however, the Constitution has been transformed into "a purpose oriented blank check for redesigning American society." In a final chapter Bradford critiques Mortimer Adler's We Hold These Truths and repudiates any broad connection between the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. Before the Constitution is irreparably damaged, Bradford says, we must realize that it was not the best that the framers could invent but the best that their constituencies would approve. Debates related to normative issues should be settled not within the Constitution but within society, away from the coercive forces of law and politics - or else by amendment.

No Establishment of Religion

Author: T. Jeremy Gunn
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199986010
Format: PDF, Docs
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The First Amendment guarantee that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion" rejected the millennium-old Western policy of supporting one form of Christianity in each nation and subjugating all other faiths. The exact meaning and application of this American innovation, however, has always proved elusive. Individual states found it difficult to remove traditional laws that controlled religious doctrine, liturgy, and church life, and that discriminated against unpopular religions. They found it even harder to decide more subtle legal questions that continue to divide Americans today: Did the constitution prohibit governmental support for religion altogether, or just preferential support for some religions over others? Did it require that government remove Sabbath, blasphemy, and oath-taking laws, or could they now be justified on other grounds? Did it mean the removal of religious texts, symbols, and ceremonies from public documents and government lands, or could a democratic government represent these in ever more inclusive ways? These twelve essays stake out strong and sometimes competing positions on what "no establishment of religion" meant to the American founders and to subsequent generations of Americans, and what it might mean today.

The Separation of Church and State

Author: Jason Porterfield
Publisher: The Rosen Publishing Group, Inc
ISBN: 1477775099
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Having disassociated themselves from an oppressive government with a strong central religion, the Founding Fathers of the United States acknowledged the freedom to practice one's religion when writing the nation's constitution. Subsequent constitutional amendments further drew a line between the ecumenical and the secular. Detailed descriptions of Supreme Court cases on the topic offer readers a clearer understanding of the original intent behind separating church and state, as well as how interpretations of such matters have impacted U.S. legislation.

That Godless Court

Author: Ronald Bruce Flowers
Publisher: Westminster John Knox Press
ISBN: 9780664228910
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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The religion clauses of the First Amendment, which seem simple and clear, have been and continue to be controversial in their application. Church-state issues have never been more complex, controversial, and divisive than they are today. In this helpful and instructive book, Ronald B. Flowers explains clearly and concisely the intricacies and implications of Supreme Court decisions in the volatile area of church-state relations. This is an ideal primer for those Americans who have listened to the debates about what the Supreme Court has and has not said about the relationship between church and state, and where the boundaries between the two have been eroded. It is also ideal for use in the classroom, specifically in undergraduate courses in religion and the court, introductions to U.S. constitutional law, constitutional law and politics, and the Supreme Court. The book is also a helpful tool for pastors, clarifying contemporary church-state issues that impact their churches and parishioners directly and indirectly.