Constitutional Debates On Freedom Of Religion

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Debates over the separation or accommodation of religion and government have divided Americans since the founding of our country and continue to echo in governmental chambers today, as people argue sharply and heatedly about the exact meaning and correct applications of First Amendment clauses on religious establishment and free exercise of religion. Students can trace the history and development of these arguments, as well as the reactions to them, through this unique collection of over 70 primary documents. Court cases and other documents bring to life the controversies surrounding the issues. Explanatory introductions to documents aid users in understanding the various arguments put forth, while illuminating the significance of each document.

Patrick and Long trace the origins and changes in the nature of the debates surrounding the issue of freedom of religion using carefully chosen court cases and other documents to reflect the fact that the Court's decision has not always ended public controversy about the relationships between church and state or religion and government. Indeed, especially in recent years, the Court's decisions in some cases have exacerbated old tensions and generated new issues. The focus throughout is on the connection between the U.S. Constitution and freedom of religion. The introductory and explanatory text help readers understand the nature of the conflicts, the issues being litigated, the social and cultural pressures that shaped each debate, and the manner in which the passions of individual government officials, justices, and our presidents affected the development of policies concerning freedom of religion.

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Editorial Reviews

Students can trace the history and development of arguments surrounding the separation and accommodation of religion and government through this unique collection of some 70 primary documents. Court cases and other documents bring to life controversies surrounding the exact meaning and correct applications of First Amendment clauses on religious establishment and free exercise of religion. Explanatory introductions to documents aid users in understanding various arguments. Includes a glossary. The editors are affiliated with Indiana University and Brown County High School. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

Meet the Author

JOHN J. PATRICK is Director of the Social Studies Development Center and Professor of Education at Indiana University, Bloomington.

GERALD P. LONG is a teacher of history and government at Brown County High School in Nashville, IN.

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Table of Contents

Series Foreword
Chronology of Key Events
Pt. I Colonial Roots of Religious Liberty, 1606-1776
Document 1 First Charter of Virginia (November 20, 1606) 8
Document 2 Acts of the Virginia Colonial Government on Religion (1624 and 1630) 9
Document 3 Charter of Massachusetts Bay (March 4, 1629) 10
Document 4 Acts of the Massachusetts Colonial Government on Religion (1631, 1635, and 1638) 11
Document 5 Massachusetts Body of Liberties (December 10, 1641) 12
Document 6 Massachusetts School Law (November 11, 1647) 13
Document 7 Maryland Toleration Act (April 21, 1649) 14
Document 8 Rhode Island Charter (July 8, 1663) 15
Document 9 The Great Case of Liberty of Conscience (William Penn, 1670) 16
Document 10 Great Law of Pennsylvania (December 7, 1682) 17
Document 11 A Letter Concerning Toleration (John Locke, 1689) 19
Document 12 Charter of Privileges of Pennsylvania (Granted by William Penn, October 28, 1701) 22
Document 13 Letter to the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel (The Reverend Thomas Barton, November 8, 1762) 23
Document 14 An Appeal to the Public for Religious Liberty (The Reverend Isaac Backus, 1773) 24
Pt. II Religious Liberty in the Founding of the United States, 1776-1791
Document 15 The Virginia Declaration of Rights (June 12, 1776) 36
Document 16 Articles on Religion in the Pennsylvania Declaration of Rights and Constitution (1776) 38
Document 17 Articles on Religion in the Maryland Declaration of Rights (1776) 40
Document 18 The Massachusetts Declaration of Rights (1780) 41
Document 19 Liberty of Worship in America (Hector St. John de Crevecoeur, 1782) 43
Document 20 An Argument for Religious Liberty in Notes on the State of Virginia (Thomas Jefferson, 1782) 44
Document 21 Letter on the Selection of a Roman Catholic Bishop in the United States of America (Father John Carroll, February 27, 1785) 46
Document 22 Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments (James Madison, June 20, 1785) 48
Document 23 The Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom (Thomas Jefferson, January 16, 1786) 53
Document 24 Article VI of the United States Constitution (1787) 55
Document 25 An Argument Against a Religious Test for Public Office (Oliver Ellsworth, December 17, 1787) 56
Document 26 The Federalist 51 (Publius [James Madison], February 6, 1788) 58
Document 27 Speech on Rights in the U.S. House of Representatives (James Madison, June 8, 1789) 60
Document 28 Discussion in the House of Representatives on Constitutional Guarantees of Religious Liberty (August 15, 1789) 63
Document 29 Action in the Senate on Constitutional Guarantees of Religious Liberty (September 3 and 9, 1789) 66
Document 30 Clauses on Religion in the First Amendment of the United States Constitution (December 15, 1791) 67
Pt. III The Constitutional Right to Free Exercise of Religion, 1791-1991
Document 31 Reynolds v. United States (1879) 76
Document 32 Pierce v. Society of the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary (1925) 78
Document 33 Cantwell v. Connecticut (1940) 80
Document 34 West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette (1943) 83
Document 35 Murdock v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (1943) 88
Document 36 United States v. Ballard (1944) 91
Document 37 Prince v. Commonwealth of Massachusetts (1944) 95
Document 38 Braunfeld v. Brown (1961) 97
Document 39 Sherbert v. Verner (1963) 101
Document 40 Welsh v. United States (1970) 104
Document 41 Wisconsin v. Yoder (1972) 107
Document 42 Heffron v. International Society for Krishna Consciousness (1981) 112
Document 43 United States v. Lee (1982) 116
Document 44 Bob Jones University v. United States (1983) 119
Document 45 Goldman v. Weinberger (1986) 122
Document 46 Lyng v. Northwest Indian Cemetery Protective Association (1988) 125
Document 47 Employment Division, Department of Human Resources of Oregon v. Smith (1990) 130
Pt. IV The Constitutional Prohibition of an Establishment of Religion, 1791-1991
Document 48 Everson v. Board of Education of Ewing Township (1947) 145
Document 49 Zorach v. Clauson (1952) 151
Document 50 McGowan v. Maryland (1961) 156
Document 51 Engel v. Vitale (1962) 160
Document 52 School District of Abington Township, Pennsylvania v. Schempp (1963) 164
Document 53 Board of Education of Central School District No. 1 v. Allen (1968) 169
Document 54 Walz v. Tax Commission of the City of New York (1970) 174
Document 55 Lemon v. Kurtzman, Superintendent of Public Instruction of Pennsylvania (1971) 178
Document 56 Meek v. Pittenger (1975) 183
Document 57 Wolman v. Walter (1977) 188
Document 58 Mueller v. Allen (1983) 195
Document 59 Marsh Chambers (1983) 200
Document 60 The Equal Access Act (1984) 204
Document 61 Wallace v. Jaffree (1985) 206
Document 62 Aguilar v. Felton (1985) 216
Document 63 Edwards v. Aguillard (1987) 220
Document 64 Allegheny County v. American Civil Liberties Union, Greater Pittsburgh Chapter (1989) 225
Document 65 Board of Education of the Westside Community Schools v. Mergens (1990) 234
Pt. V Constitutional Issues on Freedom of Religion, 1991-1998
Document 66 Lee v. Weisman (1992) 249
Document 67 Lamb's Chapel v. Center Moriches Union Free School District (1993) 260
Document 68 Church of the Lukumi Babalu Aye, Inc. v. City of Hialeah (1993) 264
Document 69 Zobrest v. Catalina Foothills School District (1993) 270
Document 70 Religious Freedom Restoration Act (1993) 275
Document 71 Board of Education of Kiryas Joel Village School District v. Grumet (1994) 278
Document 72 Rosenberger v. University of Virginia (1995) 285
Document 73 Capitol Square Review and Advisory Board v. Pinette (1995) 292
Document 74 President Clinton's Statement on Religious Expression in Public Schools (July 13, 1995) 299
Document 75 Agostini v. Felton (1997) 304
Document 76 City of Boerne v. Flores (1997) 310
Document 77 Religious Diversity in the United States of America (1998) 321
Appendix: Categorical Listings of U.S. Supreme Court Cases Treated in This Volume 325
Glossary 329
Index 331
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