False Facts and Holy War: How the Supreme Court’s Establishment Clause Cases Fuel Religious Conflict

62 Pages Posted: 16 Jan 2018

See all articles by John M. Bickers

John M. Bickers

Northern Kentucky University - Salmon P. Chase College of Law

Date Written: January 10, 2018

Abstract

In the area of government religious speech, the opinions of the Supreme Court sometimes contain facts that seem plausible but are false. The Court seems to offer these in an attempt to reduce religious tension in our society. Such attempts have only resulted in an increase in conflict, because of the inevitable nature of advocacy within a constitutional system. This paper proposes that it is the very attempt to resolve religious disputes by presenting false facts that intensifies conflict. Ideologically opposing forces seize each offered settlement from the Court as a tool to advance their own position: either the increase or elimination of government religious speech. In failing to accept that religious conflict is inevitable in a free society, the Court's promulgation of false facts has merely exacerbated that conflict. Only a frank recognition of the problem and a deliberate incorporation of a time-based distinction into standing doctrine based on time offers any real hope of establishing peace concerning the proper place of religion in the public life of the United States.

Keywords: Establishment Clause, Government Speech, Supreme Court, Standing

JEL Classification: K10, K19, K39

Suggested Citation

Bickers, John M., False Facts and Holy War: How the Supreme Court’s Establishment Clause Cases Fuel Religious Conflict (January 10, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3099669 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3099669

John M. Bickers (Contact Author)

Northern Kentucky University - Salmon P. Chase College of Law ( email )

Nunn Hall
Highland Heights, KY 41099
United States

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