Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Sherbenou, Edgar||Merry, Henry J.||Burchard, Waldo W.

Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Legacy Department

Department of Social Sciences


Civil rights--United States; Church and state--United States


The study of religion is a vast field, but recently one portion of religion, as it is related to the Federal Constitution, has come under much discussion. The section referred to is contained In the First Amendment prohibiting Congress to make any "laws respecting an establishment of religion.” Many interpretations have been given to this particular clause, and these viewpoints have been revived in the I960 Presidential election, because one of the candidates, John F, Kennedy, was a Catholic. This particular situation caused a certain amount of anxiety among various groups of people. By far the greatest fear is that public money will be given to parochial schools. This Is not the only problem concerning church-state relations, but it is the most important one in the 1960*s. Suffice it to say at this time that both the pros and cons of this particular situation can support their theories of permitting or prohibiting federal aid. The purpose of this paper is to study the various interpretations given by the State and Federal courts and to determine, if it is possible to do so, the trend the courts have taken. The theory expressed by this writer is that it was impossible for any one religious sect to become dominant and gain control; thus we have developed a theory of church-state relations. This is not a new theory, as Leonard W. Bacon, a noted writer of Christianity, expressed the same point of view. However, there is more to add to the theory. Occasionally, laws have been enacted and enforced by the State and Federal governments, although such laws specified no particular religious sect. Some attempt has been made to develop a systematic approach showing that at various times a religious power has emerged. This is the primary purpose of the next few chapters.


Includes bibliographical references.


70, v pages




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