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Religious Freedom  

Religious freedom is a fundamental right in the United States. This right has been and will continue to be litigated in the courts
Last Updated: Jun 29, 2016 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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PCCC Books

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Religious Expression and the American Constitution - Franklyn S. Haiman
Call Number: KF 4783 .H345 2003
ISBN: 0870136917
Publication Date: 2003-10-31

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The American Constitution and Religion - Richard Regan
Call Number: KF 4783 .R425 2013
ISBN: 9780813221526
Publication Date: 2013-11-01

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The First Amendment - The Free Exercise of Religion Clause - Thomas C. Berg (Editor)
Call Number: KF 4783 .B47 2007
ISBN: 9781591025184
Publication Date: 2007-08-01

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Religious Liberty - Mitch Young; Sylvia Engdahl (Editor)
Call Number: KF 4783 .R435 2008
ISBN: 9780737738551
Publication Date: 2007-10-05

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Religious Freedom and the Constitution - Christopher L. Eisgruber; Lawrence G. Sager
Call Number: KF 4783.E355 2007
ISBN: 9780674023055
Publication Date: 2007-02-28

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The Myth of American Religious Freedom - David Sehat
Call Number: BR 516.S43 2011
ISBN: 9780195388763
Publication Date: 2011-01-14

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Freedom of Religion - Gary Zacharias (Editor)
Call Number: KF 4783 .F74 2005
ISBN: 0737726474
Publication Date: 2005-02-25


Constitutional Issues/Books

Religious freedom is considered a fundamental right in the United States.  The First Amendment of the federal Constitution prohibits the central government from making a law establishing a national religion or prohibiting the free exercise of religion.    Through the operation of the 14th Amendment ( by the doctrine of "incorporation") this provision is also applied to state and local governments. The Amendment also protects speech, assembly and the right to petition.  Article VI of the Constitution prohibits religious tests as a condition for holding public office.

On its face, this language seems clear.  However, as is often the case with the Constitution, situations arise where the language has to be applied and interpreted.  Even a cursory study of the issue will make clear that the application of the First Amendment language is a difficult task.  The United States Supreme Court has heard many cases over the years.  There are over forty landmark cases dealing with religious freedom.and the Establishment Clause..  As is often the case with the law, the Court has created standards, tests and exceptions.  Opinions can be difficult to understand.  Justices often disagree. Dissenting opinions are common.  At  times it is easier to read tea leaves than to fully understand the Court's holdings on cases.  Constitutional scholars also have differing opinions.  All this makes for confusion and controversy

The PCCC Library owns a number of books dealing with religious liberty.  Generally they fall under the call number KF4783

Some representative titles are:

"Religious Freedom and the Constitution" KF4783.E355 2007

"The American Constitution and Religion" KF4783.R425 2013

"Religious Expression and the American Constitution" KF4783 .H345 2003

"The Free Exercise of Religion Clause: Its Constitutional History and the Contemporary Debate  KF4783.B47 2007

"Religious Liberty:  Issues on Trial" KF4783.R483 2008

"Freedom of Religion" KF4783.F74 2005

one book is under another call number: "The Myth of American Religious Freedom"  BR516.S43 2011

Subject Guide

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