By Arlin M. Adams
Here's a concise assessment of the historic improvement and judicial interpretation of the 1st modification faith clauses. It starts with a survey of the historical past of yankee non secular liberty, is going directly to current the perspectives of the Founding Fathers, after which considers the middle price of spiritual liberty and the constitutional reasons that enforce that price.
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Additional resources for A Nation Dedicated to Religious Liberty
On pragmatic grounds, Iredell denounced test oaths as ineffectivea person of integrity would refuse to subscribe to an oath inconsistent with his or her convictions, while an individual of ''base principles" would not hesitate to take an oath in the interests of political expediency. 83 The federal test oath clause apparently had a liberalizing effect on the states. The Pennsylvania Constitution of 1790 contained a much weaker religious test than its constitution of 1776, and by 1793, Delaware, South Carolina, Georgia, and Vermont had removed religious tests from their constitutions.
71 North Carolina and Georgia lacked the clergy and ecclesiastical resources to build anything but nominal establishments. In South Carolina, the efforts of the Presbyterians, led by the Reverend William Tennent, hastened the abolition of the establishment. "72 Maryland abandoned its Anglican establishment during the Revolution, but adopted a modified Erastian policy and continued to prefer Anglicanism. For Jews and other non-Christians, complete religious liberty in Maryland came only after a long and bitter battle.
3 To this end, chapter 5 will apply these principles, by way of example, to three current issues: the voluntary meeting of student religious groups in public high schools, known as the equal-access controversy; religious symbolism in public life, particularly the inclusion of invocations and benedictions in high school graduations; and the task of defining religion for constitutional purposes. Page 3 1. The Historical Roots of American Religious Liberty [T]he fundamental principles of civil and religious liberty .