religious display - religion; and 3) was there excessive...

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The question of whether a religious display on public property is constitutional, but I believe it requires a multi-step analysis. One should ask, first is anyone funding the display? If a private group wants to place a religious monument on public property, then the first amendment is represented by free expression and can be conducted. Religious displays on public property can be legal, but it must pass the constitutional displays and not violate the First Amendment’s establishment clause, which requires government “neutrality” towards religion. According to the textbook it states, “the establishment clause prohibits the government from establishing a state-sponsored religion, as well as from passing laws that promote (aid or endorse) religion or that show a preference for one religion over another.” The Lemon test poses three questions: 1) Did the state actor have a secular purpose in posting the documents; 2) was the primary effect of the action to advance or promote
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Unformatted text preview: religion; and 3) was there excessive entanglement between government and religion in the given activity? The government conduct must survive all three of these prongs if the action is to survive constitutional muster. A more recent test that has gained popularity in the courts is the endorsement test. Justice Sandra Day OConnor first outlined this test in her concurring opinion in the 1983 decision Lynch v. Donnelly, which involved a city-owned holiday display containing religious elements in a Pawtucket, R.I., park. This approach examines the following questions: Did the state actor subjectively intend to promote religion through its actions, and would the reasonable observer interpret the actions of the state as an endorsement of religion? The elements of both tests should be examined before a government representative posts any religious documents or engages in other forms of religious expression....
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