In a time when the question of American religious identity underlies much political conversation that fills the public square, Dennis Goldford directs his readers to consider the First Amendment. The founding fathers' words, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," are the constitutional means of ensuring, however imperfectly, the American freedom to stand for something sacred. In his analysis, Goldford ably demonstrates that the very nature of these religion clauses establishes protection not for religion but for religious freedom . The Constitution of Religious Freedom argues that religious identity inheres not in the nation, but in the individual citizen.
Dennis J. Goldford is Professor of Politics at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. The author of The American Constitution and the Debate Over Originalism , Goldford has contributed election cycle political analysis to more than eighty major newspapers, magazines, or wire services in the United States, Canada, Japan, and many European and Eastern European countries. He lives in Clive, Iowa.
Introduction 1. Constitutional Fundamentals 2. Religious Minorities, Religious Freedom, and Religion 3. Conventional vs. Radical Establishment Clause Jurisprudence 4. Orthodoxy and Neutrality 5. The Concept of Coercion in Establishment Clause Jurisprudence 6. The Concept of Position Taking in Establishment Clause Jurisprudence 7. The Theoretical Core of the Establishment Clause: The Secularity Principle Conclusion