Courts Not Silent on Moments of Silence
An Illinois statute, now on temporary hold by a U.S. District Court, has given rise to the latest in a long line of constitutional cases involving required moments-of-silence in public schools.
Religion and Secularism: The American Experience
Professor Wilfred McClay argues that America’s particular brand of secularism, together with some features of Christianity, have produced a unique if imperfect mingling of religion and government in the country’s public life.
Faith and the Public Dialogue: A Conversation with Sen. John Kerry
At a Pew Forum event, the Massachusetts Democrat candidly discusses the propriety of public inquiry into politicians’ religious beliefs and lessons learned from his 2004 presidential bid.
The Free Exercise Clause and the Parameters of Religious Liberty
An expert on law and religion discusses concrete examples of protected religious expression – must the sheik remove his turban when boarding a plane?
A Delicate Balance: The Free Exercise Clause and the Supreme Court
More than a century of court decisions in this area have forged a ragged path from one extreme to the other, with permutations in between.
A Half Century After It First Appeared on the Dollar Bill, “In God We Trust” Still Stirs Opposition
Oct. 1 marks the 50th anniversary of the appearance of the words on U.S. paper currency. The phrase, which is also the nation’s official motto, has been caught in a broader controversy over just how high the wall separating church and state should stand.
In Search of a Way Out: Rethinking the Arab-Israeli Conflict
In an interview with the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, Palestinian scholar Sari Nusseibeh discusses ways in which a settlement could help resolve the larger tensions between Islam and other faiths.
From the Ten Commandments to Christmas Trees: Public Religious Displays and the Courts
As a supplement to a Pew Forum legal backgrounder, Prof. Robert W. Tuttle discusses how current law might apply in circumstances such as a recent religious display controversy in Louisiana.
Rev. Falwell’s Moral Majority: Mission Accomplished?
When the late Rev. Jerry Falwell disbanded the Moral Majority in 1989, he declared that “our mission is accomplished.” If Falwell meant that evangelical Christians had come to accept the idea that organized religion should play an activist role in the political process, his claim of success is well-supported by public opinion surveys.
God at Graduation
Spring is the season for school graduations, and graduation ceremonies play a featured role in the national debate over the place of religion in public education. Is a clergyman’s benediction at a public school event a violation of the separation of church and state? Can students lead a prayer at their school commencement?