Friday, July 07, 2006

 

Following the Rules Religiously

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One of the habitu├ęs of talk.origins posted Justice Black''s eloquent summation in Everson v. Board of Education of the meaning of the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution (beginning with "The 'establishment of religion' clause of the First Amendment means at least this ... ") and another poster commented that he "would like to see that on the wall of Congress... " Well, that got me thinking and it turns out that Black's summation can be broken down into 10 prescriptions without too much artificial splitting.

Therefore, for your edification, here are the:
10 Commandments of the Separation of Church and State:

1. Neither a state nor the Federal Government can set up a church.

2. Neither a state nor the Federal Government can pass laws which aid one religion, aid all religions, or prefer one religion over another.

3. Neither a state nor the Federal Government can force nor influence a person to go to or to remain away from church against his will.

4. Neither a state nor the Federal Government can force a person to profess a belief or disbelief in any religion.

5. No person can be punished for entertaining or professing religious beliefs.

6. No person can be punished for entertaining or professing religious disbeliefs.

7. No person can be punished for church attendance or non-attendance.

8. No tax in any amount, large or small, can be levied to support any religious activities or institutions, whatever they may be called, or whatever form they may adopt to teach or practice religion.

9. Neither a state nor the Federal Government can, openly or secretly, participate in the affairs of any religious organizations or groups.

10. No religious organizations or groups can, openly or secretly, participate in the affairs of a state or the Federal Government.

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