ABOUT THIS BOOK
Although the Constitution of the United States states that there shall be no laws that either establish or prohibit religion, the application of the Religion Clauses throughout United States history has been fraught with conflict and ambiguity. In this book, a leading constitutional scholar proposes a set of guidelines meant to provide for the consistent application of the First Amendment's Religion Clauses.
Choper's guidelines are designed to provide maximum protection for religious freedom without granting anyone an advantage, inflicting a disadvantage, or causing an unfair burden. Though not calling for the wholesale overturning of judicial precedents or established social practices, the standards he proposes would result in significant—and controversial—modifications to existing doctrines and customs. Choper argues, for instance, that while vocal prayer and Bible reading in public schools should continue to be prohibited, we can and should allow for silent prayer and objective courses in creation science. His standards would also, among other things, eliminate the tax exemption on property used exclusively for religious purposes while allowing parochial schools to receive public funds for the non-religious component of their education.