The issue of religion and government is a major debate in the United States of America. Fortunately, the Supreme Court of the United States researched the religion commandments of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution long before it made decisions about such matters as required prayer (Engel v. Vitale, 1962) and required Bible reading (Abington v. Schempp, 1963). In 1879 (Reynolds v. U.S.), 1947 (Everson v. Board), and 1948 (McCollum v. Board), the Court set solid precedent with Jefferson's and Madison's definitions. Unfortunately, if there were ever an issue wherein clarity is lacking and confusion prevails among attorneys, authors, clerics, commentators, educators, historians, journalists, judges, politicians, and the general public, it is the meaning of the First Amendment's religion commandments. There is no better example of such confusion than former Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist whose abuse of history is thoroughly documented in the essay and link to Liberty magazine, both of which are posted below:
To read Gene Garman's copyrighted essay in the May/Jun 1999 issue of Liberty magazine, click on the following url: http://www.libertymagazine.org/article/articleview/162/1/41 or read it as my free product lecture.
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