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Photo A is of a close up of an U.S. coin. The words “In God we trust” can be seen on the coin. Photo B is of a sculpture that lists the Ten Commandments. There is a building with a dome in the background.
The motto “In God We Trust” has appeared intermittently on U.S. coins since the 1860s (a), yet it was not mandated on paper currency until 1957. The Ten Commandments are prominently displayed on the grounds of the Texas State Capitol in Austin (b), though a similar sculpture was ordered to be removed in Oklahoma. (credit a: modification of work by Kevin Dooley)

The free exercise clause

The free exercise clause    , on the other hand, limits the ability of the government to control or restrict religious practices. This portion of the First Amendment regulates not the government’s promotion of religion, but rather government suppression of religious beliefs and practices. Much of the controversy surrounding the free exercise clause reflects the way laws or rules that apply to everyone might apply to people with particular religious beliefs. For example, can a Jewish police officer whose religious belief, if followed strictly, requires her to observe Shabbat be compelled to work on a Friday night or during the day on Saturday? Or must the government accommodate this religious practice, even if it means the general law or rule in question is not applied equally to everyone?

In the 1930s and 1940s, cases involving Jehovah’s Witnesses demonstrated the difficulty of striking the right balance. In addition to following their church’s teaching that they should not participate in military combat, members refuse to participate in displays of patriotism, including saluting the flag and reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, and they regularly engage in door-to-door evangelism to recruit converts. These activities have led to frequent conflict with local authorities. Jehovah’s Witness children were punished in public schools for failing to salute the flag or recite the Pledge of Allegiance, and members attempting to evangelize were arrested for violating laws against door-to-door solicitation of customers. In early legal challenges brought by Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Supreme Court was reluctant to overturn state and local laws that burdened their religious beliefs.

Minersville School District v. Gobitis , 310 U.S. 586 (1940).
However, in later cases, the court was willing to uphold the rights of Jehovah’s Witnesses to proselytize and refuse to salute the flag or recite the Pledge.
West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette , 319 U.S. 624 (1943); Watchtower Society v. Village of Stratton , 536 U.S. 150 (2002).

The rights of conscientious objector     s —individuals who claim the right to refuse to perform military service on the grounds of freedom of thought, conscience, or religion—have also been controversial, although many conscientious objectors have contributed service as non-combatant medics during wartime. To avoid serving in the Vietnam War, many people claimed to have a conscientious objection to military service on the basis that they believed this particular war was unwise or unjust. However, the Supreme Court ruled in Gillette v. United States that to claim to be a conscientious objector, a person must be opposed to serving in any war, not just some wars.

Gillette v. United States , 401 U.S. 437 (1971).

Questions & Answers

what are the purpose of courts
ABUKAR Reply
Why does the devolution of power cause an increase in the number and types of interests?
Karen Reply
Bigger the governments or in devolution, number of governments, more people come to power, so more corruption.Federal system is also example of devolution, WHERE three lists are made, one handled solely by centre like Defence etc., other decided by provincial gov as edu., other example is Scotland.
Saleem
examples of countries with direct democracy?
Nicolas Reply
what is four main reason of government
Abubakarr Reply
how is the president in United States
Abubakarr
I m not staying in United states but I wish to go they
hasan
Which of the following is true of spending in politics
Ashley Reply
what is government
Michael Reply
is the system to govern a state or community
Gumersindo
what is government
Meyty
what 2 important issues went unresolved in the constitution?
Queenie Reply
the 1957 Ghana constitution
Ahorlu Reply
The framers of the Constitution designed the Senate to filter the output of the sometimes hasty House. Do you think this was a wise idea? Why or why not?
Emily Reply
what is freedom?
syed Reply
what is political eqaulity
syed
what is federalism?
Maria Reply
federalism Federalism is a system of government in which entities such as states or provinces share power with a national government. The United States government functions according to the principles of federalism.
deborah
panyaring means
Opata
meaning of panyaring
Opata
what is government
Opata
how is power dispered in American federalism?
Savannah Reply
how is power dispersed in American federalism?
Savannah
what three factors molds nations, state, relations today
Savannah
what three factors mold national,state relations today
Savannah
In which areas do you think peoples rights and liberties are at risk of government intrusion?
camille Reply
whenever......new government
Marjan Reply
clearly,who was meant to be in charge of this new government?
Marjan
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Source:  OpenStax, American government. OpenStax CNX. Dec 05, 2016 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11995/1.15
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