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Archive for the ‘Separation of church and state’ Category.

 

What are a Prisoners Rights to Religious Practice While Incarcerated?

A prison yard

September 23rd, 2016

As American citizens, we know that our most basic constitutional rights protect freedom of religion as outlined in the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. The First Amendment contemplates the separation of church and state, as we have discussed before, and ensures our absolute right to practice a faith of our choosing. The government Read More


Separation of Church and State: Where Exactly is the Line?

Statue of Moses bearing the 10 Commandments in a courtroom.

August 2nd, 2016

The First Amendment of the United States constitution effectively gave us the separation of church and state that we know today. The First Amendment contains two cornerstone clauses by which the founding fathers emphasized this separation. The Establishment Clause and the Free Exercise Clause prevent Congress from prohibiting the exercise or the regulation of religion. Read More


Superior Court of New Jersey Cites Separation of Church and State, Precludes Religious Schools From Receiving State Grants

St Giles Organ in St Giles Cathedral

June 10th, 2016

On May 26, 2016, the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division, citing separation of church and state, held that two religious institutions may not receive their allotted $11 million in state grants. The Court’s holding stems from a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey (ACLU-NJ) in 2013.  The ACLU-NJ Read More


State Law on Religion Not So “Peachy” for Georgia Sports Fans

Football player holding a football

June 7th, 2016

Much of the case law surrounding sports and religion in recent history has focused on the high school or collegiate level. The “Friday Night Lights” traditions that bind school age sports stars to their parents and predecessors are often steeped in religion, be it through prayer, cheers, or statements of good luck. For much of Read More


Religion in American History: Civil Rights and Same Sex Marriage

Wedding rings

June 1st, 2016

When the country was first founded after the rebellion of 13 colonies, many argue that the sentiment of the colonies was typically that each newly formed state should be able to control its own destiny while benefiting from the strength gained from a central federal government. The fight for “states’ rights” versus federal oversight has Read More


Religious Freedom Restoration Act: The True Meaning

flowers

May 30th, 2016

In 1993, the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) was passed. The reasons put forth in support of this legislation included a growing fear among people that the provisions in the Constitution protecting citizens’ religious freedom were being ignored and slowly encroached upon by other laws. Through its passing, church leaders could continue to act Read More


Searching for a Sign, Small Congregation Sues

church

May 24th, 2016

In a case that garnered less national attention than other cases that made their way to the U.S. Supreme Court, a small congregation in a suburb of Flagstaff, Arizona received a “win” when the Supreme Court ruling ended in their favor in June of 2015. The decision, though local in origin, may have farther reaching Read More


21st Century Constitution and Religious Tests

Bill of Rights

May 7th, 2016

The Constitution of the United States of America is fairly straightforward regarding freedom of religion and religious tests. This is especially true when you consider the fact that it was written over 200 years ago by men who had no idea what life in the USA would be like in 2016. Yet their words and Read More


State Religion: An Amendment Away?

American flag waving in the wind

April 20th, 2016

In order to fully understand the precarious nature of a situation, it is sometimes necessary to step back and view it from another perspective. In the context of constitutionally protected religious freedom in the United States, this perspective can be obtained by looking to other countries around the world. A recent development in Bangladesh’s constitutional Read More


Religion and Millennials: Are the Lines of Religion Blurring in the United States?

Open Bible with glasses on top

April 1st, 2016

There are few people who would deny that the first Europeans to travel to the land that would become the United States of America were fiercely religious. They believed so strongly that their way of life was the correct one that they fled persecution in their homelands to find ground where they could plant roots Read More