• “The dominant purpose of the First Amendment was to prohibit the widespread practice of government suppression of embarrassing information.” ~Justice William O. Douglas (1898-1980)
Published in: on December 1, 2016 at 3:22 pm  Leave a Comment  

  • “Ideas are indeed the most dangerous weapons in the world. Our ideas of freedom are the most powerful political weapons man has ever forged.” ~Justice William O. Douglas (1898-1980)
Published in: on July 15, 2014 at 3:44 pm  Leave a Comment  

  • “The First Amendment however, does not say that in every and all respects there shall be a separation of Church and State . . . otherwise the State and religion would be alien to each other–hostile, suspicious, and even unfriendly . . . Municipalities would not be permitted to render police or fire protection to religious groups. Policemen who helped parishioners into their place of worship would violate the Constitution. Prayers in our Legislative halls; the appeals to the Almighty in the messages of the Chief Executive; the proclamations making Thanksgiving Day a Holiday; ‘So help me God’ in our courtroom oaths – these and all other references to the Almighty run through our laws, our public rituals, our ceremonies would be flouting the First Amendment.

    A fastidious atheist or agnostic could even object to the supplication with which the Court opens each session: ‘God save the United States and this Honorable Court . . . We are a religious people whose institutions presuppose a Supreme Being. We guarantee the freedom to worship as one chooses. We make room for a wide variety of beliefs and creeds as the spiritual needs of man deem necessary. We sponsor an attitude of on the part of government that shows no partiality to any one group and that lets each flourish according to the zeal of adherents and the appeal of its dogma. When the state encourages religious instruction or cooperates with religious authorities, it follows the best of our traditions for it then respects the religious nature of our people and accommodates the public service to their spiritual needs. To hold that it may not, would be to find in the Constitution a requirement that the Government show a callous indifference to religious groups. That would be preferring those who believe in no religion over those who do believe . . . we find no Constitutional requirement which makes it necessary for Government to be hostile to religion . . . we cannot read into the Bill of Rights such a philosophy of hostility to religion.” ~Justice William O. Douglas, Majority Opinion, Zorach v. Clauson

Published in: on June 3, 2013 at 9:41 pm  Comments (1)  

We are a religious people . . .

  • “The First Amendment, however, does not say that in every and all respects there shall be a separation of Church and State . . . Otherwise the state and religion would be aliens to each other- hostile, suspicious, and even unfriendly . . .

    “We are a religious people whose institutions presuppose a Supreme Being . . . When the state encourages religious instruction . . . it follows the best of our traditions. For it then respects the religious nature of our people and accommodates the public service to their spiritual needs. To hold that it may not would be to find in the Constitution a requirement that the government show a callous indifference to religious groups. That would be preferring those who believe in no religion over those who do believe.”We find no constitutional requirement which makes it necessary for government to be hostile to religion…We cannot read into the Bill of Rights such a philosophy of hostility to religion.” ~Supreme Court Justice, William Orville Douglas In the 1952 case of Zorach v. Clauson

Published in: on January 23, 2011 at 3:09 pm  Leave a Comment