About this site
About us
Our beliefs
Your first visit?
Contact us
External links
Good books
Visitors' essays
Our forum
New essays
Other features
Buy a CD
Vital notes

World religions
 Christian def'n
 Shared beliefs
 Handle change
 Bible topics
 Bible inerrancy
 Bible harmony
 Interpret Bible
 Beliefs, creeds
 Da Vinci code
 Revelation 666
Other religions
Cults and NRMs
Comparing Religions


About all religions
Main topics
Basic info.
Handling change
Confusing terms
World's end
True religion?
Seasonal events
More info.

Absolute truth

Attaining peace
Relig. tolerance
Relig. freedom
Relig. hatred
Relig. conflict
Relig. violence

"Hot" topics
Very hot topics
10 command.
Abortion access
Assisted suicide
Death penalty
Gay marriage
Human rights
Sex & gender
Spanking kids
Stem cells
Other topics

Laws and news
Religious laws
Religious news



Religious Tolerance logo

Separation of church and state issues


Municipalities' and states' use of
religion in displays, mottos, & crests

horizontal rule

Sponsored link.

horizontal rule


bullet"Americans are being denied the right to express their religious speech in the public square." Ralph Reed, Christian Coalition.
bullet"There is no such source and cause of strife, quarrel, fights. malignant opposition, persecution, and war, and all evil in the state, as religion. Let it once enter our civil affairs, our government would soon be destroyed. Let it once enter our common schools, they would be destroyed." - Supreme Court of Wisconsin, Weiss v. District Board, 1890-MAR-18.

horizontal rule


The 1st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, as interpreted by the courts, guarantees that:

bulletindividuals have freedom of religious expression and practice;
bulletthe government and its agencies will not recognize one religious faith as more valid than any other faith;
bulletthe government and its agencies will not promote religion above secularism or vice versa.

These principles are continuously in a state of creative tension:

bulletMany Americans feel that America was founded by Christians and remains a Christian nation, since about 75% of its population regard themselves as Christians. They would like to see their religion represented in municipal religious displays, etc. Any restrictions would be regarded as an infringement of their religious freedoms. Some would like to see all other religious excluded.
bulletOther individuals, both Christian and non-Christian, are opposed to their municipal government or state using religious symbols, displays or phrases. They feel that a wall of separation must be maintained between religion and governments at all levels. They regard this factor as outweighing any personal religious considerations that they might have. Many feel that the relative lack of religiously-motivated violence in the U.S. -- compared to that seen in the rest of the world -- is due to this principle of separation.

horizontal rule

Topics covered in this section:

bulletMunicipalities' use of religious displays: crosses, nativity scenes, etc.
bulletDisplay of the "Seven Aphorisms" by Summum -- a religious group

bulletMunicipalities' use of religious symbols: in their crests & seals

bulletThe debate over the Redlands, CA, logo

bulletA typical "cultural" Christmas display which is constitutional


bulletState use of religious phrases: in their motto

horizontal rule

Related essays:

bulletSeparation of church and state issues
bulletU.S. court rulings on separation of church and state
bulletOrganizations dealing with separation issues

horizontal rule

Links to web sites which deal with separation issues:

bullet"The Constitutional Principle: Separation of Church and State," at: http://members.tripod.com/ is a web site that is totally devoted to this topic.
bulletA site with a list of links to other Internet locations dealing with separation of church and state is at: http://members.tripod.com/

horizontal rule

Site navigation:

 Home page > Religious law > here

or Home page > Religious law > Church-state separation > here

horizontal rule

Copyright © 1998 to 2005 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Original publishing date: 1998-AUG-5
Latest update: 2005-DEC-18
Author: B.A. Robinson

line.gif (538 bytes)

horizontal rule

Go to the previous page, or to to the "Local church/state conflicts" menu, or the "Separation of church and state" menu, or the "Religious law" menu, or choose:

Web ReligiousTolerance.org

Go to home page  We would really appreciate your help

E-mail us about errors, etc.  Purchase a CD of this web site

FreeFind search, lists of new essays...  Having problems printing our essays?

Twitter link

Facebook icon

Google Page Translator:

This page translator works on Firefox,
Opera, Chrome, and Safari browsers only

After translating, click on the "show
original" button at the top of this
page to restore page to English.


Sponsored link: