Shouldn’t neutrality toward religion guide U.S.?

2013-08-26T00:00:00Z Shouldn’t neutrality toward religion guide U.S.? nwitimes.com
August 26, 2013 12:00 am

The U.S. Constitution states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion …"

Isn't it then legally incorrect for Congress to apply the “establishment clause” to restrict religious expression?

The clause is a restriction on government from establishing an official religion, a restriction on government actions preferring one religion over another, and a restriction on government preferring religion over non-religion or vice versa.

The term “separation of church and state” is not found in the U.S. Constitution.

While a lot of attention is paid to the “establishment clause,” less attention is paid to the phrase immediately following: "or prohibiting the free exercise thereof …”

The First Amendment keeps government from establishing a national religion and imposes limitations to keep government from burdening our ability to practice whatever religion we choose.

Shouldn’t neutrality toward religion be the guiding principle?

- Margret Brenn, Chesterton

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