United States Constitution

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Designed by many influential [[deist]]s such as [[Thomas Jefferson]] and [[James Madison]], the '''United States Constitution''' is a [[secular]] document, despite the claims of people who think that [[America is a Christian nation]].
 
Designed by many influential [[deist]]s such as [[Thomas Jefferson]] and [[James Madison]], the '''United States Constitution''' is a [[secular]] document, despite the claims of people who think that [[America is a Christian nation]].
  
==The First Amendment==
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==See also==
  
The first amendment (part of the Bill of Rights) reads:
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* [[First Amendment]]
: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
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* [[Religious test]]
  
The first two clauses are known as the ''establishment clause'' and ''free exercise clause'', respectively. Together, they define the ''wall of [[separation between church and state]]'' that [[Thomas Jefferson]] wrote of.
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==References==
  
The [[Supreme Court]] has interpreted the establishment clause as meaning that the government may not favor one religion over another, or favor religion in general over no religion (or vice-versa). In other words, the government must remain strictly neutral in matters of religion.
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<references/>
 
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At the same time, the free exercise clause guarantees freedom of religion. A proper balance between these two clauses can sometimes be hard to find.
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In the 1971 case Lemon v. Kurtzman, the Supreme Court established the ''Lemon test'' for determining whether a law violates the establishment clause: a law is legal if:
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# It has a legitimate secular purpose, and
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# Its principal effect neither advances nor inhibits religion, and
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# It does not foster an excessive government entanglement with religion.
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==See also==
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* [[Religious test]]
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==External links==
 
==External links==
 
* [http://www.archives.gov/national-archives-experience/charters/constitution.html US Constitution at the National Archives]
 
* [http://www.archives.gov/national-archives-experience/charters/constitution.html US Constitution at the National Archives]
* [http://www.oyez.org/oyez/resource/case/207/ Lemon v. Kurtzman]
 
  
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{{Secularism}}
 
[[Category:Law]]
 
[[Category:Law]]
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[[Category:United States]]

Latest revision as of 16:58, 23 December 2015

United States Constitution.jpg

Designed by many influential deists such as Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, the United States Constitution is a secular document, despite the claims of people who think that America is a Christian nation.

See also

References


External links


v · d Secularism
Support for separation of church and state   United States Constitution · First Amendment · Free exercise clause · Religious test · Separation of church and state
Attacks against separation of church and state   Proselytizing · Theocracy · In God We Trust · Persecution · Authoritarianism · Fundamentalism · Blue laws · Dominionism · Sharia · Theodemocracy · Blasphemy laws · Blasphemous libel · List of Theocratic political parties
Arguments for theocratic government   America as a Christian nation · Australia as a Christian nation · Canada as a Christian nation
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