- Introduction: Religious Pluralism as the Essential Foundation of America’s Quest for Unity and Order
- The Founding Era (1774–1797) and the Constitutional Provision for Religion
- Eighteenth-Century Religious Liberty: The Founding Generation’s Protestant-Derived Understanding
- Church and State in Nineteenth-Century America
- Religious Advocacy by American Religious Institutions: A History
- Constitutional Language and Judicial Interpretations of the Free Exercise Clause
- The U.S. Supreme Court and Non-First Amendment Religion Cases
- The Meaning of the Separation of Church and State: Competing Views
- Managed Pluralism: The Emerging Church–State Model in the United States?
- Religious Liberty and Religious Minorities in the United States
- Religious Symbols and Religious Expression in the Public Square
- Religious Liberty as a Democratic Institution
- Pursuit of the Moral Good and the Church–State Conundrum in the United States: The Politics of Sexual Orientation
- Monitoring and Surveillance of Religious Groups in the United States
- The U.S. Congress: Protecting and Accommodating Religion
- The Christian Right and Church–State Issues
- American Religious Liberty in International Perspective
- Supply-side Changes in American Religion: Exploring The Implications of Church–State Relations
- Peeking through Jefferson’s Relocated Wall: A Sociological Assessment of U.S. Church–State Relations
- The Role of Civil Religion in American Society
- The Interplay of Law, Religion, and Politics in the United States
- Historical Perspectives
- Constitutional Perspectives
- The States and Religious Freedom
- Theological and Philosophical Perspectives
- Religious Pluralism
- Ethics and Values
- Political Perspectives
- Sociological Perspectives
- Table of Cases
Abstract and Keywords
The First Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibited the government advocating or endorsing religion, and at the same time recognized the the right of religious people and organizations to play an active role in the discussion of public issues. This religious advocacy of American religious institutions has been strengthened by the Supreme Court of the United States by recognizing the right of such organizations to take strong positions on public issues. This article outlines some of the ways in which the political advocacy of some religious communities became institutionalized in the United States in the twentieth century. It discusses the formation of national religious groups and the positions they took on some key religious liberty issues, particularly those certain church–state cases heard by the U.S. Supreme Court. This five-part article discusses these issues—the emergence of the federal council of churches; the emergence of protestant alternatives; the establishment of clause battles; the introduction of civil rights and liberties; and the mobilization of the Christian right—in a chronological manner.
Keywords: First Amendment, right, United States Constitution, religious advocacy, American religious institutions, political advocacy, national religious groups, religious liberty issues, council of churches, protestant alternatives
Melissa Rogers serves as director of the Center for Religion and Public Affairs of the Wake Forest University Divinity School, Winston-Salem, North Carolina. She previously served as the executive director of the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life and as general counsel of the Baptist Joint Committee on Religious Liberty. In 2008 Baylor University Press published a casebook coauthored by Rogers, Religious Freedom and the Supreme Court. She has written extensively on church–state issues, and particularly on the legal impact of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Rogers earned her law degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where she was a member of the National Moot Court Team. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Baylor University.
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