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Does The Constitution Forbid Religious Displays On Public Property?

545 words - 3 pages

Does the Constitution Forbid Religious Displays on Public Property?We look to the United States Constitution, to answer many questions about our government and our rights. It outlines the structure of our federal government, as well as the freedoms this country affords. When I first thought about the question, “Does the Constitution forbid religious displays on public property?”, I automatically assumed that it did not. But upon examination of the Constitution, and a little clarification on what it means, I believe otherwise.First we need to examine what the Constitution says regarding religion. The First Amendment states “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”. There are ...view middle of the document...

To determine if religious symbols can be displayed on public property, next we need to define what public property is. “Public Property” is defined by Princeton University’s Word Net as “property owned by a government”.Since public property is owned by the government, it cannot be used to promote one religion over another, and that is why I believe the Constitution prohibits the display of religious symbols on public property. For example, if the government were to allow Christian, Jewish, Islamic, or other religious symbols to be displayed public property, they would be inherently favoring, promoting, or respecting that certain religion, above others, which would be a violation of the Constitution.This is not to say that the people of the United States cannot freely participate in or practice any religion of their choice, because that right is given to us, in the Constitution, by the Free Exercise Clause. This just affects the government, and would also affect public property, since it is by definition owned by the government.Does the Constitution forbid the display of religious symbols on public property? I say yes. The Constitution clearly says that the government cannot promote any religion. And allowing religious symbols to be displayed on public property, owned by the government, would mean that they are promoting a specific religion.BibliographyCheeseman, Henry R. The Legal Environment of Business and Online Commerce. 4th ed.Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc., 2005.“Overview for ‘public property’ ”. Web Wordnet 2.0. 31 Aug. 2004.U.S. Constitution. Amendments to the Constitution. Art. 1. 31 Aug. 2004.< http://www.house.gov/Constitution/Amend.html.>

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