Church and State in the Modern Age: A Documentary History

By J. F. MacLear | Go to book overview

religion" as to restrain religious intervention in political matters. In this field the authors of our freedom would not tolerate "the first experiment on our liberties" or "wait till usurped power had strengthened itself by exercise, and entangled the question in precedents." . . . Nor should we.

* * *

Compulsory attendance upon religious exercises went out early in the process of separating church and state. . . . Test oaths and religious qualifications for office followed later. . . . Hence today, apart from efforts to inject religious training or exercises and sectarian issues into the public schools, the only serious surviving threat. . . . is through use of the taxing power to support religion, religious establishments, or establishments having a religious foundation whatever their form or special religious function.

Does New Jersey's action furnish support for religion by use of the taxing power? Certainly it does, if the test remains undiluted as Jefferson and Madison made it, that money taken by taxation from one is not to be used or given to support another's religious training or belief, or indeed one's own. Today as then the furnishing of "contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves" is the forbidden exaction and the prohibition is absolute for whatever measure brings that consequence and whatever amount may be sought or given to that end.

Source: Arch R. Everson, appellant, v. Board of Education of the Township of Ewing et al., 330 U.S. 1.


SUGGESTIONS FOR BACKGROUND AND REFERENCE

R. F. Drinan, Religion, the Courts, and Public Policy ( New York, 1963).

A. W. Johnson and F. H. Yost, Separation of Church and State in the United States ( Minneapolis, 1948), pp. 152-164.

R. Kramer et al., "Religion and the State," Law and Contemporary Problems, Vol. XIV, No. 1 ( 1949), pp. 1-159.

P. B. Kurland, Religion and the Law of Church and State and the Supreme Court ( Chicago, 1962).

D. H. Oaks (ed.), The Wall between Church and State ( Chicago, 1963).

L. Pfeffer, Church, State, and Freedom ( Boston, 1953), pp. 470-478.

A. P. Stokes, Church and State in the United States ( New York, 1950), 11, 642-758. See especially 11, 694-715.


155
McCollum v. Board of Education (Extracts) March 8, 1948

Concern for the religious education of their children in public schools led some church leaders to advocate "released time`" from regular studies for religious instruction by appropriate representatives of the parents' faith.

-407-

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