William Douglas on Church and State

St. John One: One

William O. Douglas 1898-1980 William O. Douglas 1898-1980

On April 28, 1952, in the decision of the Supreme Court of   the United States in Zorach v. Clauson, 343 U.S. 306 (1952), in   which school children were allowed to be excused from public   schools for religious observances and education, Justice William   O. Douglas, in writing for the Court stated:

‘The First Amendment, however, does not say that in every and all respects   there shall be a separation of Church and State. Rather, it   studiously defines the manner, the specific ways, in which there   shall be no concern or union or dependency one on the other. That   is the common sense of the matter. Otherwise the State and religion would be aliens to each other – hostile, suspicious, and   even unfriendly. Churches could not be required to pay even   property taxes. Municipalities would not…

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