Alan L. Stiegler
University of Minnesota - Twin Cities - School of Law
Minnesota Law Review Online, Vol. 91, 2007
Minnesota Legal Studies Research Paper No. 08-02
Philosophers argue that governments should impartially promote religion since religion serves as a teacher and regulator of public morals, which government cannot reach of itself. Moreover, since morality is not self enforceable, society has a clear interest in promoting religion, which does teach and enforce morality. Furthermore religion has a source of power to force the individual to conform to a moral life: divine anger and the prospect of hell.
A particular religious view is useless to any individual unless it inspires him internally. But as no one religious view appeals to all men, no one religious sect can claim to have a monopoly on truth.
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Mr. Stiegler served in the Second World War and then returned home to Minnesota to attend law school. He wrote this article while a student-member of the Minnesota Law Review during the 1948-49 school year. While reviewing Mr. Stiegler's first draft, the Note Editor rose, slapped his hand on the table proclaiming: I am Catholic. It is the one true religion. This Note will never be published. Mr. Stiegler's name was subsequently removed from the masthead of the Minnesota Law Review and he was denied credit for the activity for his last year of law school.
For fifty-seven years the manuscript lay hidden in his desk. In March 2007, Mr. Stiegler contacted the current leadership of the Minnesota Law Review, and they decided to bring Mr. Stiegler's article to the public by editing the work and then publishing it on SSRN and on the webpage of the Minnesota Law Review. Mr. Stiegler's ideas and arguments are still relevant today.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 18
Keywords: establishment, religion, McCollum, first amendment, establishment clause, social control, religious discrimination, law reviews, morality, philosophy
JEL Classification: H50, H53, H59, J78
Date posted: July 4, 2007 ; Last revised: February 1, 2008