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Unpublished Paper
THE FREE EXERCISE CLAUSE: FEALTY TO GOD OR CAESAR
ExpressO (2014)
  • John O. Hayward, Bentley College
Abstract
This essay furnishes a modest definition of “religion,” briefly reviews the historical background of the Free Exercise Clause, examines several significant U.S. Supreme Court decisions, including the controversial Hobby Lobby case, that have defined, expanded and limited this clause, and finally, argues that the Court in interpreting the Free Exercise clause should be mindful of the writings of seventeenth century political philosopher John Locke (1632-1704), who maintained that the state should allow all religions to pursue their own goals as long as they don’t produce civil harms. Lastly, the article concludes with a caveat that a country whose citizens have no religion or any sense of connectedness to some higher purpose is an impoverished nation that cannot long endure, and a government that disparages religion is unwittingly contributing to its own demise.
Keywords
  • First Amendment,
  • Religion,
  • Free Exercise of Religion,
  • Santeria Faith,
  • peyote,
  • polygamy
Disciplines
Publication Date
September 5, 2014
Citation Information
John O. Hayward. "THE FREE EXERCISE CLAUSE: FEALTY TO GOD OR CAESAR" ExpressO (2014)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/john_hayward/17/