Law’s Religious Awakening: Cincinnati’s Bible War, the Concept of Religious Neutrality, and Its Role Today

Belmont Law Review, vol. 7, issue 2, pp. 47-85

Belmont University College of Law Research Paper No. 2020-16

39 Pages Posted: 26 May 2020

Date Written: 2020

Abstract

The roles and boundaries of religion and state are at the center of a global debate. As such, American legal history has been no stranger to such questions as, “What role does religion play in a state?” and, subsequently, “What are the boundaries of religion and state?” In American law, at the heart of this debate, is the idea of a “wall of separation between Church & State,” which suggests that individual rights are best served when the state stays out of religion, and religion stays out of the state. The Supreme Court and American society still battle with the concepts of a wall of separation and neutrality. With Supreme Court decisions such as Locke v. Davey and Trinity Lutheran v. Comer, where does the doctrine of hands off fit into a national constitutional scheme? Instead of an impregnable wall between church and state, we find an important relationship between religion and state. In this relationship, government is neutral and takes into account the interests of both the Establishment and Free Exercise Clauses.

Keywords: Separation Of Church And State, Free Exercise Clause, Establishment Clause

Suggested Citation

Campbell, Timothy Alan, Law’s Religious Awakening: Cincinnati’s Bible War, the Concept of Religious Neutrality, and Its Role Today (2020). Belmont Law Review, vol. 7, issue 2, pp. 47-85, Belmont University College of Law Research Paper No. 2020-16, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3606706

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