Revising The Constitution: The Problem Of Religious Freedom

Journal of Religious Ethics 16 (2):325-344 (1988)

A. James Reichley in his thought-provoking book "Religion in American Public Life" argues that recent interpretations of the religion clauses of the First Amendment effectively deny a public role for religion in national life. Drawing upon the distinctions made by John Courtney Murray, S.J., in making his case for the constitutional protection of the right of religious freedom, the author argues that Reichley's approach blurs the distinction between society and the state, a necessary distinction, it would seem, if one is to strike a suitable balance between the rights of the individual to free exercise of religion on the one hand, and the need of the community to be free from sectarian strife on the other
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