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First, laws for which the only discernible rationale depends on a religious premise government may affirm are not subject to the ban. Second, although laws for which the only discernible rationale is an offending religious rationale are subject to the ban, in the United States today there are, and in the foreseeable future there will be, as I just remarked, few if indeed any actual or proposed laws that fit that profile. And, as it happens, the vast majority of religious believers in the United States offer nonreligious rationales for their political positions on controversial moral issues.

The serious question, then, is not whether the non-establishment ban on laws for which the only discernible rationale is an offending religious rationale is unduly restrictive, but whether as a practical matter the ban has much if any bite. The answer for which I have contended in this paper is: Yes, but only if the rationale depends on a religious premise that under the non- establishment norm government may not affirm. The free exercise norm is the principal constitutional provision protecting religious freedom.

Nonetheless, one of the basic functions of the non-establishment norm is to provide additional support for religious freedom, thereby making religious freedom even more secure.

Baer John W. Carter Stephen L. Choper Jesse H. Cuneo Terence, ed. Davis Derek H. Eberle Christopher J. Gey Steven G.

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Comparative Law and Religion: Three-Dimensional (3D) Approach. Special Issue - Comparative Law

John's Journal of Legal Commentary , 22, pp. Leech Kenneth, ed. McConnell Michael W. Neuhaus Richard J. Perry Michael J. Smith Steven D.

Gods Joust Gods Justice Law and Religion in the Western Tradition Emory University Studies in Law an

Weithman Paul J. See Perry M. Indeed, given a recent paper by Gerald Gaus, in which he agrees with Eberle that citizens and their elected representatives may rely solely on religious reasons in making political choices, I am inclined to think that the debate is largely over. The two papers just cited, by Eberle and Gaus, were presented at the annual meeting of the American Philosophical Association, Eastern Division, December , Washington See also Habermas ; Nemoianu : In a clear and unmistakable manner Habermas condemns all those who keep trying to sentence the religious discourse in the public square to silence, to eliminate and liquidate it all together.

Communicativeness implies necessarily and by its very definition the effort of mutual understanding. The religion clauses have long been held to apply—it is constitutional bedrock that they apply—not just to Congress but to the entire national government, and not just to the national government but to state government as well. In effect, then, the clauses provide that government may neither establish religion nor prohibit the free exercise thereof.

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For Michael W. As I have explained elsewhere, a constitutional doctrine is constitutional bedrock if the doctrine is well-settled and there is no significant support—in particular, among the political elites—for abandoning the doctrine Perry, b. For a sketch of different kinds of religious establishment, from strong to weak, see Durham Jr.

Marsh v. Chambers, U. Rosenberger v.

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Rector and Visitors of University of Virginia, U. Many constitutional scholars have said much the same thing. See, e. See id. Vitale, U. Schempp and Murray v. Curlett, U. Graham, U. Perry, S. Weisman, U.

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If the Declaration marks a formative moment in the birth of the United States, two texts of Abraham Lincoln mark formative moments in the nation's rebirth: the Gettysburg Address and the Second Inaugural Address, which is surely one of the most theologically intense political speeches in American history. Woe unto the world because of offences!

ACLU of Ohio v. The provision was not understood as prohibiting the state from merely giving voice, in general terms, to religious sentiments widely shared by those of its citizens who profess a belief in God Lee v. However, someone may want to ask a question that pushes in the opposite direction: Why shouldn't we embrace an understanding according to which government may affirm a specifically Christian premise if the premise is nonsectarian as among Christians?

The simplest answer: It is constitutional bedrock that government may not affirm such a premise. A bit of American history is interesting here. If the Supreme Court, in a science-fiction scenario, were to so rule, the citizenry of the United States would rush to amend the Constitution to overrule the Court. Gey reporting on the virtually unanimous negative response to the federal court's subsequently amended decision in Newdow v. Congress, F. That awareness may be discomforting.


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But is it the sort of phenomenon for which constitutional law can provide an efficacious remedy? Newdow, U. Atheism is a religious position—a position on a religious question— for purposes of the non-establishment norm. Davis So government may affirm the premise that the universe is billions of years old.


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Edwards v. Aguillard, U. We surely would not strike down a law providing money to feed the hungry or shelter the homeless if it could be demonstrated that, but for the religious beliefs of the legislators, the funds would not have been approved Melvil Decimal System: Works under MDS Wording Edition. Related tags 1 Corinthians 6 1 Corinthians 13 6 Bible Study 8 Christian 25 Christian Living Christianity 15 Counseling 7 Devotional 5 Discipleship 23 ebook 6 ethics 16 Evangelism 3 finance 4 finances 12 generosity 5 giving 10 Gospels 10 Jesus 13 Jesus Christ 12 justice 6 Kindle 22 love 54 Love - Religious aspects 4 Love--Religious aspects--Christianity 5 money 5 New Testament 10 non-fiction 18 own 5 pastoral 3 philosophy 4 Practical Theology 5 read 3 relationships 11 religion 14 Spiritual Growth 8 spirituality 12 Stewardship 13 theology 31 to-read 41 unread 4.

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