1. Religion & Spirituality

Supreme Court Decisions on Religious Liberty

Main Index

Understanding religious liberty and religious freedom in America requires understanding the varying and often contradictory court decisions which have been made in this area. So, this site will begin presenting summaries and explantions of major Supreme Court decisions dealing with religion and religious freedom.

This project is obviously biased towards American case law. This is not intentional, but circumstantial. The fact of the matter is, I don't have any information on court decisions from countries other than America. If foreign readers would be kind enough to send me information and, hopefully, web links, then I will start including that information here. I do, however, have here quite a lot of information on the general state of religious liberty in other countries which you can read. In the mean time, hopefully people from outside America will begin to understand a bit about what we Americans keep whining about with regards to our First Amendment.

New Cases
Find out what the most recent additions to this ever-expanding resource are.

Full Index
Index of all summaries of Supreme Court cases available on this site.

Church Disputes
Supreme Court cases addressing the question of just how far the government and courts can involve themselves with internal church disputes.

Atheists, Freethinkers and Religious Liberty
United States court decisions which have involved atheists, skeptics, humanists, and/or other freethinkers who challenged society in order to broaden religious liberty for everyone.

Government and Religious Holidays
Can the government fund religious displays during religious holidays? Can the government give employees religious holidays as paid vacation days? Can public schools fund religious holiday programs? Find out what the courts have decided.

Evolution & Creationism
Index of Supreme Court cases dealing with the teaching of creationism in public schools.

Employment and Business
Index of Supreme Court cases dealing with religious rights as they related to employment and the conduct of business.

Religious Tax Exemptions
Should religious organizations be exempt from taxation? Should religious groups get tax exemptions not available to other organizations? What about property owned by religious groups but used for commercial purposes - should they receive the same tax exemptions as property used only for religion?

Ten Commandments
Should displays of the Ten Commandments be allowed in public buildings? Should large monuments be erected on the grounds of courthouses or legislative buildings? Should there be posters of the Ten Commandments in schools and other municipal buildings? Some argue that they are part of our legal history, but others contend that they are inherently religious and, therefore, cannot be allowed.

Government Support of Religion
Index of Supreme Court cases dealing with government support of religion - includes cases about the display of creches and other religious symbols during holidays and cases about prayer during government functions.

Jehovah's Witnesses
Index of Supreme Court cases dealing with the rights of Jehovah's Witnesses to practice their faith.

Privacy Cases
Index of Supreme Court cases either dealing directly with people's right to privacy, or indirectly relating to current debates about the nature of a right to privacy and whether or not such a right is provided for in the Constitution.

Free Speech
Index of Supreme Court cases either dealing directly with people's right to privacy, or indirectly relating to current debates about the nature of a right to privacy and whether or not such a right is provided for in the Constitution.

Schools and Religion
Index of Supreme Court Cases dealing with religion and public schools - includes school prayer and governmental funding of religious schools.

Unequal Treatment of Minority Religions
Index of Supreme Court cases dealing with the unequal treatment of minority religions.

You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Discuss in my forum

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.