Religion and the American constitutional experiment: essential rights and liberties
This volume offers a novel reading of the American constitutional experiment in religious liberty. The First Amendment, John Witte argues, is a synthesis of both the theological convictions and the political calculations of the eighteenth-century American founders. The founders incorporated six interdependent principles into the First Amendment—liberty of conscience, freedom of exercise, equality of faiths, plurality of confessions, disestablishment of religion, and separation of church and state. Both the nuance and the balance of these six principles have often been lost on current interpreters of the First Amendment. Particularly the Supreme Court has tended to reduce the First Amendment to mechanical tests and metaphorical formulae that often replace, rather than guide, its analysis and application of these principles. First Amendment doctrine today has thus become notoriously confused, casuistic, and self-contradictory.Religion and the American Constitutional Experiment urges a return to the principled approach to religious rights, evident both in the American founding era and in the modern international human rights movement. Witte uses these principles to analyze the free exercise and establishment case law of the last two centuries. He then illustrates the virtues of his principled approach through analysis of the thorny contests over tax exemptions for religions, the role of religion in the public school, among others.This lucid and engaging volume serves both as a provocative primer for students and a pristine restatement for specialists in law, religion, history, politics, and American studies. Through a fresh reading of the sources and cases, and through the discovery and introduction of several new materials, the author reclaims the essential value, vigor, and vitality of our most cherished religious rights and liberties.
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The Theology and Politics of the Religion Clauses
The Essential Rights and Liberties of Religion
Forging the First Amendment Religion Clauses
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Religion And The American Constitutional Experiment: Essential Rights And ...
John Witte, Jr.
No preview available - 1999
Amendment religion clauses American experiment APPENDIX 3 continued applied Cantwell Catholic charitable Christian Church Property City of Boerne civil Congress conscientious objection constitutional debates declared disestablishment clause dissenting doctrine drafts ecclesiastical equity law Establishment Clause establishment of religion Evangelical Everson exemption of religious exercise of religion faith federal founders free exercise clause free speech gion gious guarantees Ibid Isaac Backus James Madison Justice Kiryas Joel Law Review Lemon test liberty of conscience ment neutrality oaths outlawed political polygamy prayer principles prohibiting protection public school Puritan reli religious beliefs religious equality religious expression Religious Freedom religious groups Religious Human Religious Human Rights religious liberty religious pluralism religious property religious rights religious schools religious test rights and liberties rights of conscience sect secular separation of church separationist society statute Supreme Court tax exemption tion traditional United upheld violation Virginia worship wrote York