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* Considerable differences will appear in the provisions [* 468] in the State constitutions on the general subject of the present chapter; some of them being confined to declarations and prohibitions whose purpose is to secure the most perfect equality before the law of all shades of religious belief, while some exhibit a jealousy of ecclesiastical authority by making persons who exercise the functions of clergyman, priest, or teacher of any religious persuasion, society, or sect, ineligible to civil office ; and still others show some traces of the old notion, that truth and a sense of duty do not consort with scepticism in religion.2 ship ought to command the ship's ious sentiments, be disqualified to course, yea, and also command that hold any office or place of trust or justice, peace, and sobriety be kept profit under this commonwealth.” and practised, both among the sea- Art. 1, § 4. — The Constitution of men and all the passengers. If any North Carolina : The following of the seamen refuse to perform their classes of persons shall be disqualified service, or passengers to pay their for office : First. All persons who freight ; if any refuse to help, in per- shall deny the existence of Almighty son or purse, towards the common God," &c. Art. 6, § 5. — The Concharges or defence; if any refuse to stitutions of Mississippi and South obey the common laws and orders of Carolina : “No person who denies the ship, concerning their common the existence of the Supreme Being peace and preservation; if any shall shall hold any office under this Conmutiny and rise up against their com- stitution." The Constitution of manders and officers; if any should Tennessee No person who denies preach or write that there ought to the being of a God, or of a future be no commanders or officers, because state of rewards and punishinents, all are equal in Christ, therefore no shall hold any office in the civil demasters nor officers, no laws nor or- partment of this State." On the ders, no corrections nor punishments; other hand, the Constitutions of I say I never denied but in such cases, Georgia, Kansas, Virginia, West whatever is pretended, the commander Virginia, Maine, Delaware, Indiana, or commanders may judge, resist, Iowa, Oregon, Ohio, New Jersey, compel, and punish such transgres- Nebraska, Minnesota, Arkansas, sors according to their deserts and Louisiana, Texas, Alabama, Mismerits." Arnold's History of Rhode souri, Rhode Island, Nevada, and Island, Vol. I. p. 251, citing Knowles, Wisconsin expressly forbid religious 279, 280.

tests as a qualification for office or There are provisions to this public trust. Very inconsistently the

or less broad, in the Constitutions of Mississippi and TenConstitutions of Tennessee, Louisi- nessee contain a similar prohibition. ana, Delaware, Maryland, and Ken- Art. 12, $.3. - In the Constitutions of tucky.

Alabama, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, 2 The Constitution of Pennsyl- Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, New Jervania provides “that no person who sey, Rhode Island, and West Virginia, acknowledges the being of God, and it is provided that no person shall be a future state of rewards and punish- denied any civil or political right, ments, shall, on account of his relig- privilege, or capacity on account of

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( [* 469] There are exceptional * clauses, however, though not

many in number; and it is believed that, where they exist, they are not often made use of to deprive any person of the civil or political rights or privileges which are placed by law within the reach of his fellows.

Those things which are not lawful under any of the American constitutions may be stated thus : —

1. Any law respecting an establishment of religion. The legislatures have not been left at liberty to effect a union of Church and State, or to establish preferences by law in favor of any one religious persuasion or mode of worship. There is not complete religious liberty where any one sect is favored by the State and given an advantage by law over other sects. Whatever establishes a distinction against one class or sect is, to the extent to which the distinction operates unfavorably, a persecution; and if based on religious grounds, a religious persecution. The extent of the discrimination is not material to the principle; it is enough that it creates an inequality of right or privilege.

2. Compulsory support, by taxation or otherwise, of religious instruction. Not only is no one denomination to be favored at the expense of the rest, but all support of religious instruction must be entirely voluntary. It is not within the sphere of government to coerce it.2 his religious opinions. - The Consti- ness, or justify practices inconsistent tution of Maryland provides " that

“ that with the peace or safety of the State. no religious test ought ever to be re- No person shall be required to attend quired as a qualification for any office or support any ministry or place of of trust or profit in this State, other worship against his consent, nor shall than a declaration of belief in the any preference be given by law to any existence of God; nor shall the religious denomination or mode of legislature prescribe any other oath worship.” Art. 2, § 3. — The Conof office than the oath prescribed by stitutions of California, Colorado, this constitution.” Declaration of Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, IlliRights, Art. 37. The Constitution nois, Maryland, Minnesota, Missisof Illinois provides that “the free ex- sippi, Missouri, Nevada, New York, ercise and enjoyment of religious pro- and South Carolina contain profession and worship without discrimi- visions that liberty of conscience is nation shall for ever be guaranteed; not to justify licentiousness or pracand no person shall be denied any tices inconsistent with the peace and civil or political right, privilege, or moral safety of society. capacity, on account of his religious 1 A city ordinance is void which opinions; but the liberty of con- gives to one sect a privilege denied to science hereby secured shall not be others. Shreveport v. Levy, 26 La. construed to dispense with oaths or Ann. 671. affirmations, excuse acts of licentious- 2 We must exempt from this the

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3. Compulsory attendance upon religious worship. Whoever is not led by choice or a sense of duty to attend upon the ordinances of religion is not to be compelled to do so by the State. It is the province of the State to enforce, so far as it may be found practicable, the obligations and duties which the citizen may be under or may owe to his fellow-citizen or to society ; but those which spring from the relations between himself and his Maker are to be enforced by the admonitions of the conscience, and not by the penalties of human laws. Indeed, as all real worship must essentially and necessarily consist in the free-will offering of adoration and gratitude by the creature to the Creator, human laws are obviously inadequate to incite or compel those internal and voluntary emotions which shall induce it, and human penalties at most could only enforce the observance of idle ceremonies, which, when unwillingly performed, are alike valueless to the participants and devoid of all the elements of true worship

4. Restraints upon the free exercise of religion according to the dictates of the conscience. No external authority is to place itself * between the finite being and the Infinite [ * 470] when the former is seeking to render the homage that is due, and in a mode which commends itself to his conscience and judgment as being suitable for him to render and acceptable to its object.

5. Restraints upon the expression of religious belief. An earnest believer usually regards it as his duty to propagate his

ons, and to bring others to his views. To deprive him of this right is to take from him the power to perform what he considers a most sacred obligation.

These are the prohibitions which in some form of words are to be found in the American constitutions, and which secure freeState of New Hampshire, whose con- 1, Art. 6. As to meaning of Protesstitution permits the legislature to tant, see Hale v. Everett, 53 N. H. 1. authorize the several towns, par- The attempt to amend the above proishes, bodies corporate, or religious vision by striking out the word “ Protsocieties within this State to make estant” was made in 1876, but failed, adequate provisions, at their own ex- though at the same time the acceptpense, for the support and mainten- ance of the Protestant religion as a ance of public Protestant teachers of test for office was abolished, and the piety, religion, and morality:" but application of moneys raised by taxa

” not to tax those of other sects or de- tion to the support of denominational nominations for their support. Part schools was prohibited.

dom of conscience and of religious worship. No man in relig. ious matters is to be subjected to the censorship of the State or of any public authority; and the State is not to inquire into or take notice of religious belief, when the citizen performs his duty to the State and to his fellows, and is guilty of no breach of public morals or public decorum.?

1 This whole subject was consid- the provision in the constitution which ered very largely in the case of Minor has been quoted, filed their complaint v. The Board of Education, in the in the Superior Court, praying that Superior Court of Cincinnati, involv- the board be enjoined from enforcing ing the right of the school board of said resolution. The Superior Court that city to exclude the reading of (Judge Taft dissenting) made an the Bible from the public schools. order granting the prayer of the comThe case was reported and published plaint: but the Supreme Court, on by Robert Clarke and Co., Cincinnati, appeal, reversed it, holding that the under the title, The Bible in the provision in the constitution requiring Public Schools,'' 1870. The point of the passage of suitable laws to enthe case may be briefly stated. The courage morality and religion was constitution of the State, after vari- one addressed solely to the judgment ous provisions for the protection of and discretion of the legislative dereligious liberty, contained this clause: partment; and that, in the absence “ Religion, morality, and knowledge, of any legislation on the subject, the however, being essential to good gov- Board of Education could not be ernment, it shall be the duty of the compelled to permit the reading of General Assembly to pass suitable the Bible in the schools. Board of laws to protect every religious de- Education 1. Minor, 23 Ohio, n. 8. nomination in the peaceable enjoy- 211. On the other hand, it has been ment of its own mode of public decided that the school authorities, in worship, and to encourage schools and their discretion, may compel the readthe means of instruction." There ing of the Bible in schools by pupils, being no legislation on the subject, even though it be against the objecexcept such as conferred large dis- tion and protest of their parents. cretionary power on the Board of Donahoe v. Richards, 38 Me. 376; Education in the management of Spiller v. Woburn, 12 Allen, 127. schools, that body passed a resolu- 2 Congress is forbidden, by the tion, “ that religious instruction and first amendment to the Constitution the reading of religious books, in- of the United States, from making cluding the Holy Bible, are prohibited any law respecting an establishment in the Common Schools of Cincinnati; of religion, or prohibiting the free it being the true object and intent of exercise thereof. Mr. Story says of this rule to allow the children of the this provision: “It was under a solparents of all sects and opinions, in emn consciousness of the dangers matters of faith and worship, to enjoy from ecclesiastical ambition, the alike the benefit of the Common bigotry of spiritual pride, and the School fund.” Certain tax-payers intolerance of sects, exemplified in and citizens of said city, on the pre- our domestic, as well as in foreign tence that this action was against annals, that it was deemed advisable public policy and morality, and in to exclude from the national governviolation of the spirit and intent of ment all power to act upon the sub

But while thus careful to establish, protect, and defend religious freedom and equality, the American constitutions contain no provisions which prohibit the authorities from such solemn recognition of a superintending Providence in public transactions and exercises as the general religious sentiment of mankind inspires, and as seems meet and proper in finite and dependent beings. Whatever may be the shades * of (* 471] religious belief, all must acknowledge the fitness of recognizing in important human affairs the superintending care and control of the great Governor of the Universe, and of acknowledging with thanksgiving his boundless favors, or bowing in contrition when visited with the penalties of his broken laws. No principle of constitutional law is violated when thanksgiving or fast days are appointed ; when chaplains are designated for the army and navy ; when legislative sessions are opened with prayer or the reading of the Scriptures, or when religious teaching is encouraged by a general exemption of the houses of religious worship from taxation for the support of State government. Undoubtedly the spirit of the constitution will require, in all these cases, that care be taken to avoid discrimination in favor of or against any one religious denomination or sect; but the power to do any of these things does not become unconstitutional simply because of its susceptibility to abuse. This public recognition of religious worship, however, is not based entirely, perhaps not even mainly, upon a sense of what is due to the Supreme

ject. The situation, too, of the imperfect security, if it had not been different States equally proclaimed followed up by a declaration of the the policy as well as the necessity of right of the free exercise of religion, such an exclusion. In some of the and a prohibition (as we have seen) States, Episcopalians constituted the of all religious tests. Thus, the predominant sect; in others, Presby- whole power over the subject of terians; in others, Congregationalists; religion is left exclusively to the State in others, Quakers; and in others governments, to be acted upon acagain there was a close numerical cording to their own sense of justice rivalry among contending sects. It and the State constitutions; and the was impossible that there should not Catholic and the Protestant, the Calarise perpetual strife and perpetual vinist and the Arminian, the Jew and jealousy on the subject of ecclesiasti- the infidel, may sit down at the comcal ascendency, if the national gov- mon table of the national councils, ernment were left free to create a without any inquisition into their religious establishment. The only faith or mode of worship.” Story on security was in extirpating the power. the Constitution, $ 1879. But this alone would have been an

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