Religious Freedom: Rights and Liberties under the Law

Religious Freedom: Rights and Liberties under the Law

by Melvin I. Urofsky
Religious Freedom: Rights and Liberties under the Law

Religious Freedom: Rights and Liberties under the Law

by Melvin I. Urofsky


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This volume provides in a single source a thorough grounding in the origin, development, and current controversies surrounding the free practice of religion.

The first boatloads of European settlers did not come to America advocating religious tolerance. They came seeking the freedom to practice their own religion. Other sects, they believed, were wrong at best and, at worst, not to be tolerated.

The question of what constitutes "legitimate," constitutionally protected religious practice has been debated ever since. Does it include the use of peyote? Polygamy? Refusing medical care for a sick child? Freedom of Religion follows the evolving understanding of the concept of religious freedom from Great Britain to the New World, through hundreds of U.S. courtrooms, to the volatile modern-day issues of school prayer and faith-based initiatives. The thorough, responsible, and cool-headed analysis presented here offers readers a solid grounding in the constitutional issues behind the headlines.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781576073124
Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
Publication date: 04/03/2002
Series: America's Freedoms
Pages: 436
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.12(d)
Age Range: 12 - 18 Years

About the Author

Melvin I. Urofsky is director of the doctoral program in public policy and professor of history at Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA.

Table of Contents

Series Forewordxi
Preface and Acknowledgmentsxxi
2Origins and Development19
Founding Principles28
The Constitution31
3The Establishment Clause53
Historical Origins54
School Prayers65
Evolution and Creationism74
Aid to Parochial Schools78
The Lemon Test83
The Burger Court and School Aid86
A Resurgence of Fundamentalism91
Another Effort to Reinstate School Prayer97
The Rehnquist Court and Accommodation101
4The Free Exercise Clause113
The Mormons and Polygamy118
Jehovah's Witnesses and the Flag Salute127
Finding an Accommodation for Religion140
Conscientious Objectors145
Protecting the Amish148
Native Americans in the Court151
The Religious Freedom Restoration Act153
5Key People, Cases, and Events163
Virginia Rules on Conduct and Religion (1619)197
Roger Williams, The Bloudy Tenent of Persecution (1644)200
Excerpts from Revolutionary-Era State Constitutions (1776-1784)203
James Madison, "Memorial and Remonstrance" (1785)212
Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom (1786)220
Northwest Ordinance (1787)223
Argument of Counsel in Defense of Seal of Confession (1813)224
Thomas Kennedy Seeking Equal Rights for Jews in Maryland (1818)227
Joseph Story, "The Religion Clauses of the First Amendment" (1833)229
John Tyler on the Know-Nothings (1854)233
Reynolds v. United States (1879)234
Alfred E. Smith on Catholicism and Patriotism (1927)241
Minersville School District v. Gobitis (1940)245
West Virginia Board of Education v. Barnette (1943)253
Everson v. Board of Education (1947)263
Zorach v. Clauson (1952)266
John F. Kennedy on Church and State (1960)271
Engel v. Vitale (1962)276
Sherbert v. Verner (1963)282
Epperson v. Arkansas (1968)291
Lemon v. Kurtzman (1971)295
Wisconsin v. Yoder (1972)301
Wallace v. Jaffree (1985)312
Edwards v. Aguillard (1987)316
Employment Division, Oregon Department of Human Resources v. Smith (1990)324
Lee v. Weisman (1992)330
Religious Freedom Restoration Act (1993)340
Rosenberger v. Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia (1995)343
City of Boerne v. Flores (1997)354
Agostini v. Felton (1997)359
Table of Cases373
Annotated Bibliography377
About the Author411
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