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Faith-Based Public Policy: A Defense

Symposium

Abstract

Religious freedom has been one of the most closely guarded traditions of the American lifestyle. Although litigation on this matter has become popular only within the last sixty years, the protection for citizens to think and believe as they choose has been held high since the formation of our nation. Our Constitution affords us two conflicting clauses: the Establishment Clause, which prohibits the government from purposefully establishing one religion or denomination over another; and the Free Exercise Clause, which allows all citizens of the United States to worship whatever they believe however they choose. The words of Thomas Jefferson in his letter to the Danbury Baptists in 1802 have been commonly added to the discussion to suggest “a wall of separation between church and state.”

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