<< Chapter < Page Chapter >> Page >
Photo A is of a close up of an U.S. coin. The words “In God we trust” can be seen on the coin. Photo B is of a sculpture that lists the Ten Commandments. There is a building with a dome in the background.
The motto “In God We Trust” has appeared intermittently on U.S. coins since the 1860s (a), yet it was not mandated on paper currency until 1957. The Ten Commandments are prominently displayed on the grounds of the Texas State Capitol in Austin (b), though a similar sculpture was ordered to be removed in Oklahoma. (credit a: modification of work by Kevin Dooley)

The free exercise clause

The free exercise clause    , on the other hand, limits the ability of the government to control or restrict religious practices. This portion of the First Amendment regulates not the government’s promotion of religion, but rather government suppression of religious beliefs and practices. Much of the controversy surrounding the free exercise clause reflects the way laws or rules that apply to everyone might apply to people with particular religious beliefs. For example, can a Jewish police officer whose religious belief, if followed strictly, requires her to observe Shabbat be compelled to work on a Friday night or during the day on Saturday? Or must the government accommodate this religious practice, even if it means the general law or rule in question is not applied equally to everyone?

In the 1930s and 1940s, cases involving Jehovah’s Witnesses demonstrated the difficulty of striking the right balance. In addition to following their church’s teaching that they should not participate in military combat, members refuse to participate in displays of patriotism, including saluting the flag and reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, and they regularly engage in door-to-door evangelism to recruit converts. These activities have led to frequent conflict with local authorities. Jehovah’s Witness children were punished in public schools for failing to salute the flag or recite the Pledge of Allegiance, and members attempting to evangelize were arrested for violating laws against door-to-door solicitation of customers. In early legal challenges brought by Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Supreme Court was reluctant to overturn state and local laws that burdened their religious beliefs.

Minersville School District v. Gobitis , 310 U.S. 586 (1940).
However, in later cases, the court was willing to uphold the rights of Jehovah’s Witnesses to proselytize and refuse to salute the flag or recite the Pledge.
West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette , 319 U.S. 624 (1943); Watchtower Society v. Village of Stratton , 536 U.S. 150 (2002).

The rights of conscientious objector     s —individuals who claim the right to refuse to perform military service on the grounds of freedom of thought, conscience, or religion—have also been controversial, although many conscientious objectors have contributed service as non-combatant medics during wartime. To avoid serving in the Vietnam War, many people claimed to have a conscientious objection to military service on the basis that they believed this particular war was unwise or unjust. However, the Supreme Court ruled in Gillette v. United States that to claim to be a conscientious objector, a person must be opposed to serving in any war, not just some wars.

Gillette v. United States , 401 U.S. 437 (1971).

Questions & Answers

what's the difference between a Senate house and the parliament
Irene Reply
wat is decentralization
Irene Reply
Good question? its another way of emphasizing locality as a first principle value. assumed is self suffiency, sustainability, redundancy in critical systems but most of all it represents an individual citizens liberty; our rights, a dependence from and freedom from centralized power.
Lance
tnx
Irene
it's also assumed that this freedom is critical to our ability and advantages to be resilient. our full capacity to adapt w out any headwinds or yoke from an over reaching central world power as found in empires and dynasties or for example global neoliberalism virus.
Lance
Is it possible for a serious third party to emerge in the United States, positioned ideologically between the Democrats on the left and the Republicans on the right? Why or why not?
Richard Reply
meaning of civil service
Omohowho Reply
create the most between the competing value of indivualism and limited government
Dora Reply
civil liberties basic freedoms while civil rights are basic right to free from discrimination based on characteristics of race, disability, color national origin, gender, and other..
Sexy Reply
yes I think so
Omohowho
what is the categories of federalism
Official Reply
hi
Austin
yh
Irene
what is racism
Favour Reply
international political economy
Diana Reply
I'm not sure what this app is again, I'm over worked, tired, alone and I have a slight cold. my neighbor jumped me and sucker punched me yesterday, and today I'm trying to keep the tooth that took the hit. My exwife is in jail, her trailer impounded, and the dogs are @ The City Pound. 😢😥😴
Shannon
you sure it's a cold 😷 not covid 19
Don
well I think the Real Truth About COVID-19 Is... Alchohol, the info and numbers all line up. AA has infiltrated the US Government. And Since I'm Getting into Recovery for Drugs and I'm No longer an Alcoholic, it's a conspiracy to keep me from using Alchohol to aid in my Drug Recovery. But ....
Shannon
let's just keep this between us. ;) No Ask No Tell, OK?
Shannon
I know nothing but here's a little secret from a recovering alcoholic/addict once an alcoholic always an alcoholic you can treat the symptoms but never be cured I wish you the best of luck tho my friend if you ever need someone to help you through a rough spot let me know
Don
Ya shuts this is coming to me from an government app you'll help me right dawn on to my face and then laugh at me and say you bring it all on your self I'll be sure to call on you when I need help like to 200.00 a month and can't work the help you already give me shure thing
Luretta
what's are the features,merits and demerits of power
Emmanuela Reply
the most loyal supporters of democrats are
Paulina Reply
the intent to push polls is to
Ivan Reply
I cannot seem to find a clear answer to why the house is stronger than the senate, and every guess I make the check answer says is wrong.
girunit Reply
What is foreign policy
WONDERS Reply
What is government
WONDERS
What is a supreme court
WONDERS
Who is a solicitor
WONDERS
Three majors the National Liberation council adopted to transfer powers to the civilian government
Boateng
What is bureaucracy
WONDERS Reply

Get the best American government course in your pocket!





Source:  OpenStax, American government. OpenStax CNX. Dec 05, 2016 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11995/1.15
Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google Inc.

Notification Switch

Would you like to follow the 'American government' conversation and receive update notifications?

Ask