No Establishment of Religion

Author: T. Jeremy Gunn
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199860394
Format: PDF, Kindle
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This book shows how America's ongoing battles over religion and education, immigration, polygamy, religious funding, religious exemptions, and more have made the original and evolving understanding of disestablishment of religion a source of perennial cultural and constitutional controversy. The authors of the essays in the volume stake out strong and sometimes competing positions on what ''no establishment of religion'' meant to the American founders and what it can and should mean for America today.

No Establishment of Religion

Author: T. Jeremy Gunn
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199860386
Format: PDF, ePub, 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.

No Establishment of Religion

Author: T. Jeremy Gunn
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199986010
Format: PDF, Mobi
Download Now
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.

Church and State in America

Author: James H. Hutson
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1139467905
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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This is an account of the ideas about and public policies relating to the relationship between government and religion from the settlement of Virginia in 1607 to the presidency of Andrew Jackson, 1829–37. This book describes the impact and the relationship of various events, legislative, and judicial actions, including the English Toleration Act of 1689, the First and Second Great Awakenings, the Constitution of the United States, the Bill of Rights, and Jefferson's Letter to the Danbury Baptists. Four principles were paramount in the American approach to government's relation to religion: the importance of religion to public welfare; the resulting desirability of government support of religion (within the limitations of political culture); liberty of conscience and voluntaryism; the requirement that religion be supported by free will offerings, not taxation. Hutson analyzes and describes the development and interplay of these principles, and considers the relevance of the concept of the separation of church and state during this period.

Religious Liberty and the American Supreme Court

Author: Vincent Phillip Munoz
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
ISBN: 1442250321
Format: PDF, ePub
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Throughout American history, legal battles concerning the First Amendment’s protection of religious liberty have been among the most contentious issue of the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution. This book represents the most authoritative and up-to-date overview of the landmark cases that have defined religious freedom in America.

Founding Faith

Author: Steven Waldman
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 158836674X
Format: PDF, Docs
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The culture wars have distorted the dramatic story of how Americans came to worship freely. Many activists on the right maintain that the United States was founded as a “Christian nation.” Many on the left contend that the Founders were secular or Deist and that the First Amendment was designed to boldly separate church and state throughout the land. None of these claims are true, argues Beliefnet.com editor in chief Steven Waldman. With refreshing objectivity, Waldman narrates the real story of how our nation’s Founders forged a new approach to religious liberty, a revolutionary formula that promoted faith . . . by leaving it alone. This fast-paced narrative begins with earlier settlers’ stunningly unsuccessful efforts to create a Christian paradise, and concludes with the presidencies of Washington, Adams, Jefferson, and Madison, during which the men who had devised lofty principles regarding the proper relationship between church and state struggled to practice what they’d preached. We see how religion helped cause, and fuel, the Revolutionary War, and how the surprising alliance between Enlightenment philosophers such as Jefferson and Madison and evangelical Christians resulted in separation of church and state. As the drama unfolds, Founding Faith vividly describes the religious development of five Founders. Benjamin Franklin melded the morality-focused Puritan theology of his youth and the reason-based Enlightenment philosophy of his adulthood. John Adams’s pungent views on religion–hatred of the Church of England and Roman Catholics–stoked his revolutionary fervor and shaped his political strategy. George Washington came to view religious tolerance as a military necessity. Thomas Jefferson pursued a dramatic quest to “rescue” Jesus, in part by editing the Bible. Finally, it was James Madison–the tactical leader of the battle for religious freedom–who crafted an integrated vision of how to prevent tyranny while encouraging religious vibrancy. The spiritual custody battle over the Founding Fathers and the role of religion in America continues today. Waldman provocatively argues that neither side in the culture war has accurately depicted the true origins of the First Amendment. He sets the record straight, revealing the real history of religious freedom to be dramatic, unexpected, paradoxical, and inspiring. An interactive library of the key writings by the Founding Father, on separation of church and state, personal faith, and religious liberty can be found at www.beliefnet.com/foundingfaith.

Separation of Church and State

Author: Philip HAMBURGER
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 0674038185
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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In a powerful challenge to conventional wisdom, Philip Hamburger argues that the separation of church and state has no historical foundation in the First Amendment. The detailed evidence assembled here shows that eighteenth-century Americans almost never invoked this principle. Although Thomas Jefferson and others retrospectively claimed that the First Amendment separated church and state, separation became part of American constitutional law only much later. Hamburger shows that separation became a constitutional freedom largely through fear and prejudice. Jefferson supported separation out of hostility to the Federalist clergy of New England. Nativist Protestants (ranging from nineteenth-century Know Nothings to twentieth-century members of the K.K.K.) adopted the principle of separation to restrict the role of Catholics in public life. Gradually, these Protestants were joined by theologically liberal, anti-Christian secularists, who hoped that separation would limit Christianity and all other distinct religions. Eventually, a wide range of men and women called for separation. Almost all of these Americans feared ecclesiastical authority, particularly that of the Catholic Church, and, in response to their fears, they increasingly perceived religious liberty to require a separation of church from state. American religious liberty was thus redefined and even transformed. In the process, the First Amendment was often used as an instrument of intolerance and discrimination.

Exporting Freedom

Author: Anna Su
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 0674915844
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Religious freedom is recognized as a basic human right, guaranteed by nearly all national constitutions. Anna Su charts the rise of religious freedom as an ideal firmly enshrined in international law and shows how America’s promotion of the cause of individuals worldwide to freely practice their faith advanced its ascent as a global power.

Religion and the American Constitutional Experiment

Author: Joel A. Nichols
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0190459425
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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"This new edition of a classic textbook provides a comprehensive, interdisciplinary overview of the history, theology, and law of American religious liberty. The authors offer a balanced and accessible analysis of First Amendment cases and controversies, and compare them to both the original teachings of the American founders and current international norms of religious liberty"--

Religious Liberty in America

Author: Bruce T. Murray
Publisher: Univ of Massachusetts Press
ISBN: 9781558496385
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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For more than two hundred years Americans have disagreed about the proper role of religion in public life and where to draw the line between church and state. This book re-examines these debates and distills the volumes of commentary and case law they have generated.