How Does the Constitution Protect Religious Freedom?

By Robert A. Goldwin; Art Kaufman | Go to book overview
Save to active project

6

Free Enterprise in Religion, or
How the Constitution Protects
Religion and Religious Freedom

Dean M. Kelley


Some (Recent) "Restorationists" of the Religion Clauses

In every generation there are those who cavil at some current course of constitutional interpretation by the Supreme Court and contend that it has departed from the compact entered into by the founders, leading the nation down some vagrant trail of its own imagining— legislating rather than adjudicating. They wish to restore the pristine, primordial purity of the founders' intent by an appeal to history. (The only trouble is that these various would-be restorationists do not always agree among themselves about where the Court went wrong or what the history appealed to is supposed to prove.)

Two restorationist themes have recently (re)appeared with respect to the religion clauses of the First Amendment. A brief critique of them may help to lead us into a consideration of the main burden of this essay.

"The Founders Intended Only to Prevent the Establishment of a National Church." Several recent writers have reviewed the history of the First Amendment (and of contemporaneous events, state enactments, and the like) and have claimed to discover evidence that persuades them that the founders intended only to prohibit the establishment of a single sect or denomination as the national religion of the United States but did not intend to preclude the government's encouragement of the people's religious proclivities or nonpreferential assistance to all religions. 1 In advancing this view, they are following a series of restorationist writers going back to Edward S. Corwin and Erwin N. Griswold, if not even further back to T. M. Cooley and Joseph Story. 2 They have added an important insight by showing that

-114-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
How Does the Constitution Protect Religious Freedom?
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 175

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?