Laws related to religion and morality:
Church-state separation, Human rights,
human sexuality, etc.
|"Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and
religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief,
and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or
private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship
and observance." Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human
The essays listed below deal almost exclusively with North American constitutional
law, and international, federal, state/provincial laws, and local laws that are
related to religion.
Separation of church and state is mandated by the 1st
Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Although this phrase is not mentioned in the Constitution, the U.S. Supreme Court has interpreted the 1st Amendment as requiring such separation.
A similar principle has evolved largely through popular
custom in Canada.
The result of this separation, in our opinion, has been a
vigorous religious life coupled with a relative lack of religious persecution.
Many countries have traditionally had closer links between state
and religion. This has led (and continues to lead) to serious persecution of
minority religions in many areas of the world.
13th century U.S. law:
18th century U.S. laws:
20th / 21st century U.S. laws and bills:
* Bill only
|The "Wall of Separation" between church & state,
and the Istook "Religious Freedom" Constitutional Amendment
|Guaranteeing personal religious freedom in
|Recent laws & court rulings affecting:
|Public Schools and libraries:
|Prayer and other religious speech:
(Praying, moment of silence, position of political parties,
misunderstandings about school prayer, prayers at sports events,
prayers at graduation, teaching about religion, renting school
facilities, student clothing, student freedom of speech, etc)|
|Equal Access Act regarding student clubs|
|State, and municipal government issues:
|Government funding of religious groups:
|The Ten Commandments:
|Government mottos, pledges, and oaths in the U.S.:
Human rights issues, worldwide:
See also statements on religious freedom
and tolerance, in the U.S. and elsewhere.
The text of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights is at: http://www.un.org/
"Thomas", a service of the Library of
Congress, provides federal legislative information online. See: http://thomas.loc.gov/
Last update: 2011-JUL-19