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Freedom of Religion. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;. McCollum--Introduction to Religion. 1. How long have we debated religion in our schools? 2. What did the case McCollum do for the religion argument?

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freedom of religion

Freedom of Religion

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;

mccollum introduction to religion
McCollum--Introduction to Religion
  • 1. How long have we debated religion in our schools?
  • 2. What did the case McCollum do for the religion argument?
  • 3. What are Common Schools and what effect did it have on religion and schools?
  • 4. What was McCollum’s problem with the “released time” religious education?
  • 5. What parts of the Constitution were violated according to McCollum?
  • 6. What was the response to McCollum?
  • 7. What did New York (Zorach) do in response to McCollum? Why was this practice OK?
two religious rights under the first amendment balance of both
Two Religious rights under the First Amendment—Balance of both!
  • Establishment Clause
    • Cannot prohibit, promote, or encourage religion. EX. Books, school prayer, vouchers, transportation—governmental ban from interference with religion
  • Free Exercise
    • Can’t prohibit someone from practicing his or her religion.
views of the supreme court on religion with balance
Views of the Supreme Court on Religion with balance
  • The Lemon Test
    • The State regulation must:
      • Be secular in purpose (non religious purpose)
      • Neither aid nor hinder a religion (no religious effect)
      • Avoid excessive entanglement (usually issues of money)
  • endorsement test
    • Any governmental endorsement of a specific religion or religion in general
  • coercion test
    • Practices that actually coerce people into participating in religious exercises
  • “ceremonial deism”
    • Historically rooted public practices that invoke theistic belief, but do not directly try to establish a church-”under God” etc
warm up
  • Using McCollum and Zorach, discuss the constitutionality of the following North Carolina Law
  • News story on religion
  • “It is proper to take alarm at the first experiment on our liberties…. Who does not see that the same authority, which can establish Christianity, in exclusion of all other Religion, may establish with the same ease any particular sect of Christians, in exclusion of all other Sects? That the same authority, which can force a citizen to contribute three pence only of his property for the support of any on establishment, may force him to conform to any other establishment in all cases whatsoever?”
  • James Madison
test prayer
Test Prayer

Now I lay me down to study

I pray the lord I won’t go nutty

If I should fail to learn this junk

I prayed the lord I will not flunk

But if I do, don’t pity me at all,

Just lay my bones down in the study hall

Tell my teacher I did my best

Then pile my books upon my chest

Now I lay me down to nest

And I pray I pass tomorrow’s test

If I should die before I wake

That’s one less test I’ll have to take

why do we have separation of church and state
Why do we have separation of church and state?
  • Religion is too personal, too sacred, too holy to permit its “unhallowed perversion” by government;
  • Union of government and religion destroys Government and degrades religion
  • Government established religions and religious persecutions go hand in hand.
  • The power and prestige of government would be used to control, support or influence a certain religion and would change with each administration.
freedom of speech and freedom of religion are protected very differently under the constitution
Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Religion are protected very differently under the Constitution.
  • Freedom of Speech and Free Exercise—all are encouraged to participate. Both are forms of expression.
    • Establishment Clause---This clause was a specific prohibition on forms of GOVERNMENT intervention on religious affairs. There is no equal counterpart in the Free Exercise Clause
case law
Case Law
  • Engle vs. Vitale--The use of the prayer is wholly inconsistent with the Establishment Clause principles. It is no part of the business of government to compose official prayers for any group of the American people to recite as a part of a religious program carried on by government.
  • Wallace v. Jaffree (1985)—moment of silence and
case law cont lee interview
Case Law Cont…. Lee Interview
  • Lee vs. Weisman--Religious exercises may not be conducted at a graduation ceremony, a ceremony of singular importance to every student, in circumstances where, young graduates are compelled to attend and conform. A school may not persuade or compel a student to participate in a religious exercise.
lee vs weisman
Lee vs. Weisman
  • Important Facts!!!!
  • State officials direct the performance—pamphlet directed form of prayer
  • Attendance in a fair and real sense is mandatory.
  • Government involvement is pervasive—state-sponsored and state-directed religious exercise—The government may not coerce anyone to support or participate in religion or its exercise.
  • The question is not the good faith of the schools in making the prayer acceptable to most persons
    • Either attends one of life’s “special moments”, graduation, or not.
    • Either sit while all around you are standing and praying or not
lee vs weisman dissent
Lee vs. Weisman Dissent
  • Governmental ceremonies and proclamations, Declaration of Independence, George Washington and prayer at inaugural,
  • Coercion—students were not asked to bow heads, put hands together, pay attention, utter Amen, etc.
  • Stood for Pledge?
  • No direction of performance—did not draft, edit, screen or censor prayer
  • Expanded the notion of Coercion with the backing of a penalty (go to church every Sunday or risk being thrown in prison) to Coercion by showing simple respect.
case law cont
Case Law cont….
  • Sante Fe vs. Doe--Allowing a prayer that is delivered in the present manner, carries with it the imprint of the State and in a very real sense, puts students in an “untenable” position. Such an activity violates the Establishment Clause.
  • Everson vs. Township--New Jersey may spend tax-raised funds to pay the bus fares of parochial school pupils as a part of a general program under which it pays the fares of pupils attending public and other schools.
examples state cannot do
Examples State cannot do…
  • Neither a state nor the Federal Government can set up a church.
  • Neither can pass laws which aid one religion, aid all religions, or prefer one religion over another
  • Neither can force nor influence a person to go or stay away from church.
  • Neither can force one to profess a belief or disbelief in any religion.
  • No person can be punished for entertaining or professing religious beliefs or disbeliefs
  • No person can be punished for church attendance or non-attendance.
  • No tax in any amount, large or small, can be levied to support any religious activities.
what if
What if…
  • Suzie Smith was named valedictorian of your high school graduating class by virtue of her GPA. She is a devout Muslim who has written her valedictorian address about the importance of Muhammad in her life and why she thinks students who abuse drugs and alcohol or belong to gangs need to discover Muhammad in their personal lives. She wants to finish by inviting her fellow graduates to come with her to her mosque before they leave for college or work. The principal is nervous about letting her give such a speech, but students in the past have always been allowed to speak about their topic of their choice, and their remarks are traditionally edited for length, clarity, and style only.
case law cont1
Case Law cont…

Religion in school, Vouchers