ERIC Number: ED243236
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Sep
Reference Count: 0
Religion in the Constitution: A Delicate Balance. Clearinghouse Publication No. 80.
Commission on Civil Rights, Washington, DC.
This report addresses civil rights issues that derive from the First Amendment's guarantee of free exercise of religion and prohibition against the establishment of religion. The commission is acting under its legal mandate to study and collect information and to appraise the laws and policies of the federal government with respect to discrimination or denials of equal protection of the laws because of religion. Chapter 1 focuses on the history behind the adoption of the religion clauses in the First Amendment, starting with the rise of Christianity in Western Europe and tracing the history of church-state relations and religious persecution through the Reformation to the settlement of the American colonies. Chapter 2 examines the historical development of constitutional law in classic religion cases such as those dealing with aid to church-supported schools and conscientious objectors, the tests for determining whether statutes are constitutional under the First Amendment, the tensions between the free exercise and establishment clauses, and the development of acts that govern the free exercise of religion for Indians. Chapter 3 addresses accommodation of religious practices and beliefs in employment, and chapter 4 discusses religious freedom in prison. The common thread that runs through the examination into such diverse areas as prisons, employment, and Indians is the clash that occurs and the attempt that must be made to balance individual and group rights under the religion clauses of the Constitution with other competing public interests. (TE)
Publication Type: Legal/Legislative/Regulatory Materials; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Commission on Civil Rights, Washington, DC.
Identifiers: First Amendment; Jefferson (Thomas)