• Historical Foundations and Enduring Fundamentals of American Religious Freedom

    Author(s):
    John Witte, Jr. (see profile)
    Date:
    2020
    Subject(s):
    Law, Religion
    Item Type:
    Article
    Tag(s):
    First Amendment, United States Supreme Court, John Adams, James Madison, Law and Religion, Religious Freedom
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/1va9-xh36
    Abstract:
    The eighteenth-century American founders believed that religion is special and deserves special constitutional protection, and that all peaceable faiths must be drawn into the constitutional process and protection. The founders introduced six constitutional principles for the protection of religious freedom – freedom of conscience, free exercise of religion, religious pluralism, religious equality, separation of church and state, and no state establishment of religion. Since the 1940s, the United States Supreme Court has upheld these religious freedom principles in more 170 cases, albeit unevenly of late. Moreover, in recent years religious freedom has come under sharp popular and academic attack, particularly as religious pathologies have come to light and religious freedom claims have clashed with sexual liberty claims. This Essay calls for a return to the first principles of religious freedom for all, at home and abroad, and for a new balance between religious freedom and other fundamental rights claims.
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Journal article    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    2 years ago
    License:
    All Rights Reserved
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