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Unformatted text preview: ications injurious to . . . private reputation. n8 SLHS Value File Freedom Good (religious/belief)
AMERICAN CONSTITUTIONAL HISTORY IS FOUNDED AROUND RELIGIOUS LIBERTY Clark, Supreme Court Justice, SCHOOL DISTRICT OF ABINGTON TOWNSHIP, PENNSYLVANIA, ET AL. v. SCHEMPP, June 17, 1963 This is not to say, however, that religion has been so identified with our history and government that religious freedom is not likewise as strongly imbedded in our public and private life. Nothing but the most telling of personal experiences in religious persecution suffered by our forebears, see Everson v. Board of Education, supra, at 8-11, could have planted our belief in liberty of religious opinion any more deeply in our heritage. It is true that this liberty frequently was not realized by the colonists, but this is readily accountable by their close ties to the Mother Country. n5 However, the views of Madison and Jefferson, preceded by Roger Williams, n6 came to be incorporated not only in the Federal Constitution but likewise in those of most of our States. This freedom to worship was indispensable in a country whose people came from the four quarters of the earth and brought with them a diversity of religious opinion. Today authorities list 83 separate religious bodies, each with membership exceeding 50,000, existing among our people, as well as innumerable smaller groups. Bureau [***854] of the Census, op. cit., supra, at 46-47. FREEDOM OF BELIEF IS ABSOLUTE, WHILE STATE FREEDOM TO ACT CANNOT BE Clark, Supreme Court Justice, SCHOOL DISTRICT OF ABINGTON TOWNSHIP, PENNSYLVANIA, ET AL. v. SCHEMPP, June 17, 1963 The interrelationship of the Establishment and the Free Exercise Clauses was first touched upon by Mr. Justice Roberts for the Court in Cantwell v. Connecticut, supra, at 303-304, where it was said that their "inhibition of legislation" had "a double aspect. On the one hand, it forestalls compulsion by law of the acceptance of any creed or the practice of any form of worship. Freedom of [*218] conscience and freedom to adhere to such religious organiz...
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- Fall '13