• Peace Cross Ruling Could Be a Decisive Moment for Religious Toleration

    Peace Cross Ruling Could Be a Decisive Moment for Religious Toleration

    The Supreme Court is currently deliberating over what is arguably the biggest case of the term.

    The court heard oral argument on Feb. 27 in The American Legion v. American Humanist Association, a dispute over the constitutionality of a World War I veterans’ memorial. The pending outcome could make it one of the most important First Amendment cases in a generation.

    The legal dispute involves the Bladensburg World War I Veterans Memorial, also known as the Peace Cross. In 1925, Gold Star Mothers and The American Legion erected the memorial to honor the 49 men from Prince George’s County, Maryland, who fought and died in World War I. READ MORE...

  • What the Founders Understood About Religious Freedom That We Must Recover

    What the Founders Understood About Religious Freedom That We Must Recover

    Friday, Dec. 15, marks the anniversary of the day our young nation ratified the Bill of Rights in 1791.

    Given the national discussion in recent days over whether the government may compel speech from an ordinary baker, now is an especially good time to consider the very first words of our charter document: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

    Many today mistakenly interpret these religion clauses to mean something like, “Americans are tolerant of private religious conduct.” But mere “toleration” of “private” religious conduct was precisely what James Madison, a primary author of the Bill of Rights, was careful to avoid. He favored the protection of robust freedom. READ MORE...