By Nicholas P. Miller – It is time to examine a position that provides a principled freedom, both religious and civil, the possibility of a public morality, and a common language with which to discuss and debate the issues. he recent presidential campaign has broken out into a disorienting game of religious liberty musical chairs; Catholic…
EXCERPT: May 5, 2010 – WASHINGTON (RNS) — More than a decade after it was first introduced, an on-again off-again bill to protect employees’ religious expression in the workplace is attracting renewed attention that could lead to action on Capitol Hill in coming weeks. . . . “The bill will be introduced to Congress soon…
“Congress enacted the Religious Land Use Act to protect the fundamental right of freedom of religion,” said Dan Korobkin, an ACLU of Michigan staff attorney who is representing the church. “Churches and other religious institutions have the right to use their property to exercise their religious beliefs — which in this case entails providing charitable services to the poor and underprivileged.”
Most people have a mistaken understanding of what the First Amendment means, says Charles Haynes, a senior scholar at the First Amendment Center.
“People tend to carry around two failed models in their head,” Haynes said. “Either we keep religion entirely out of public schools or we keep on doing what we used to do in the good old days and promote religion in school.”
Because of those failed models, schools end up making poor decisions when it comes to religion.
The court upheld the principle that students have a constitutional right to pray on their own at any time and that the government or the schools should not arbitrate when and how students pray.