Christianity and the Framers: The True Intent of the Establishment Clause

Liberty University Law Review, Vol. 5, p. 201, 2011

54 Pages Posted: 19 Jun 2011 Last revised: 11 Jul 2011

See all articles by Patrick Nelson Leduc

Patrick Nelson Leduc

U.S. Army Reserves - 154th Legal Support Organization, Trial Defense

Date Written: June 1, 2011

Abstract

There was a time not long ago and well within the lifetime of a late middle aged American where prayer in school was not uncommon. School plays during the holidays had Christmas music and themes, Christmas trees were called just that, and Good Friday was not just good because school was closed. Nativity scenes were regularly viewed in public locations. Nearby may have stood a Ten Commandment monument, and no one consider “under God” in the pledge, “In God we Trust” on a coin, or the National Day of Prayer to be matters of controversy. Religion, and specifically Christianity, was part and parcel of every day public life.

This law review article takes a historical look at the establishment clause from the Framer's viewpoint. The article explores what should be the correct place for religion within the public square in today's modern age. In doing so, the paper reviews the religious views of some of our most influential Founding Fathers. The paper explains how Christianity in particular helped to develop the Framers basic concepts and ideas concerning the development of this republic that culminated in our present form of government. The article also explores who and what influenced our Founding Fathers both as individuals and as a whole.

The article goes on to analyzes what was the Framers true intent concerning the establishment clause, and provides an in depth analysis of establishment clause cases since the 1947 Supreme Court's decision in Everson v. Board of Education. The article concludes by making a persuasive case for the Supreme Court to abandon the Lemon analysis in favor of allowing greater religious expression and speech by public institutions and in the public square.

Keywords: establishment clause, constitutional law, religion, church and state

Suggested Citation

Leduc, Patrick Nelson, Christianity and the Framers: The True Intent of the Establishment Clause (June 1, 2011). Liberty University Law Review, Vol. 5, p. 201, 2011, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1866799

Patrick Nelson Leduc (Contact Author)

U.S. Army Reserves - 154th Legal Support Organization, Trial Defense ( email )

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