Establishment at the Founding

Michael W. McConnell

in No Establishment of Religion

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780199860371
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199950164 | DOI:
Establishment at the Founding

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This chapter argues that many modern interpretations of the Constitution have lost sight of its original meaning. The earliest Supreme Court decisions, including Everson v. Board of Education, made no serious effort to understand the history of establishments nor to understand the process of disestablishment. The Establishment Clause was not designed to curtail the influence or prominence of religion in public life, but to make religion free and independent. During the founding period, the Continental Congress, the new federal government, important political leaders, and the states promoted religion and morality through laws and actions.

Keywords: Establishment Clause; Everson v. Board of Education; Virginia assessment controversy; disestablishment

Chapter.  11570 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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