March 3 in freethought history…

March 3, 1959 – In an interview published in LOOK magazine, Senator John F. Kennedy says, “Whatever one’s religion in his private life may be, for the officeholder, nothing takes precedence over his oath to uphold the Constitution and all its parts—including the First Amendment and the separation of church and state.” Kennedy, would, of course, go on to become President of the United States despite deep opposition to his Catholicism.

March 3, 1971 –  Lemon v Kurtzman (challenging state funding of salaries at sectarian schools) is argued before the Supreme Court of the United States. The Court would eventually rule that such funding was unconstitutional, but more importantly, it established the so-called Lemon Test; i.e. for a law to be considered constitutional under the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, the law must have a legitimate secular purpose, must not have the primary effect of either advancing or inhibiting religion, and also must not result in an excessive entanglement of government and religion.

This entry was posted in biography, history, politics, religion, religious rights and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *