Free exercise of religion

Free exercise of religion - Free exercise of religion The...

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Unformatted text preview: Free exercise of religion The Constitution does more than forbid "establishment" of a religion. It also guarantees that individuals will enjoy "free exercise" of their own religious beliefs. This guarantee creates a rather difficult situation, though. Policies that work too hard to accommodate the free exercise of religious beliefs stray dangerously close to establishing religion. Policies that force a sharp division between public life and private morality, on the other hand, hamper the exercise of deeply held beliefs. The Supreme Court has worked hard to formulate a constitutional doctrine that avoids either of these pitfalls, but the path is a perilous one. Current Court doctrine protects the free exercise of religion from laws that are not neutral toward a faith, such as laws banning animal sacrifice targeted at a particular religious organization. But general criminal laws, intended to promote a real governmental particular religious organization....
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