Religious freedom in the United States is endangered by recent federal court interpretations of the First Amendment to the Constitution, according to a nationwide survey of legal scholars.
The Report Card on Religious Freedom was prepared by the David V. Kahn Religious Liberty Resource Center, a project of the American Jewish Congress. The center is based in Chicago.According to a United Press International article, 18 professors from major law schools across the nation were asked to grade how well the federal courts protected religious freedom, based on recent rulings involving interpretation of the establishment and free-exercise clauses of the First Amendment. Five categories were assigned letter grades of A, B, C, D or F.
"Not one category of religious freedom was judged to be `extremely well protected' by the courts," Sylvia Neil, survey director, was quoted as saying in the UPI report.
The category "freedom from explicit government discrimination against individuals due to their religious beliefs" got the highest grade, a "B." "Freedom from indirect government burdens or restrictions on religious practices" got the lowest grade, a "D."
Each of the other three categories received "Cs." They were "freedom from government promotion of religion," "freedom from government inculcation of religion in public schools" and "freedom from government financial entanglements with religious institutions."