Issues of Religion in the Public Sphere

By Ken Rosenzweig

December 11, 2005

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1.      Espoused religion as a criterion for public office:  Harriet Myers’ membership in an evangelical church.

2.      Prayer in public schools

3.      Teaching of religious practices of different religions in public schools.

4.      Religious symbols allowed on public property: Cross, Christmas tree, Menorah.

5.      In God We Trust on coins and money

6.      Pledge of Allegiance includes, “One Nation Under God.”

7.      State sanctioned religious holidays: Christmas

8.      Allowing religious dress for students in public schools; head covering for Jewish males; veils for Islamic females; these were recently banned in France because they were seen to impair assimilation into French society.

9.      Prayer to open session of Congress

10.  Tax exemption for religious institutions

11.  Religious chaplains provided to military

12.  President or other public officials mentioning God or appealing or praying to God in their public speaches.

13.  Prayer breakfasts of the Mayor of Dayton

14.  Evangelists stating that the US is a Christian nation because most of its founders were Christians

15.  Requirement that religious schools include in their curriculum secular subjects that the state deems necessary for the education of all students.

16.  Time release programs for public school students to obtain religious instruction.

17.  Allowing meetings of religious groups on public property, such as schools after school sessions are out.

18.  School voucher programs which would allow public money to pay for education in religious schools.

19.  Tax deductions for chartitable contributions to religious institutions.

20.  Allowing religious institutions to obtains federal or state grant money: University of Dayton receives a lot of contracts for federal research.

21.  Allowing members of certain religious groups to avoid military service because of their religious beliefs: Quaker

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