Random Quote #67 topic: atheism, Wayne Aiken's atheism cookie file
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"The language of the Religion Clauses of the First Amendment is at best opaque,
particularly when compared with other portions of the Amendment. Its authors
did not simply prohibit the establishment of a state church or a state
religion, an area history shows they regarded as very important and fraught
with great dangers. Instead they commanded that there should be "no law
respecting an establishment of religion." A law "respecting" the proscribed
result, that is, the establishment of religion, is not always easily
identifiable as one violative of the Clause. A given law might not establish
a state religion but nevertheless be one "respecting" that end in the sense
of being a step that could lead to such establishment and hence offend
the First Amendment."
[Chief Justice Warren Burger, writing for
the majority in Lemon v. Kurtzman, 1971]



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