Freedom of Religion and The Establishment Clause Interactions









The Establishment Clause is found in:
Choice 1 The Declaration of Independence.
Choice 2 The First Amendment.
Choice 3 The Fourteenth Amendment.
Choice 4 The Freedom of Religions and Beliefs Act of 1876.
The Establishment Clause protects against:
Choice 1 Governmental endorsement of Christianity.
Choice 2 Governmental endorsement of any specific religion.
Choice 3 Governmental endorsement of religion generally.
Choice 4 None of the above.
Which of the following is a governmental act which is permissible under the Establishment Clause?
Choice 1 Permitting religious groups to use space at a public college which has opened its classrooms on the weekends as limited public forums.
Choice 2 Collecting taxes from citizens, some of which are then used to help a local church group send handicapped children to amusement parks with their parents.
Choice 3 Inviting the Pope to say a few words at the opening session of Congress.
Choice 4 Enacting legislation permitting a 4-story mosque to be built in an area where other multi-story buildings have been rejected due to zoning regulations.
The Lemon Test, enunciated in Lemon v. Kurtzman, 403 U.S. 602 (1970), provides:
Choice 1 Three factors to be weighed in performing an Establishment Clause analysis.
Choice 2 Three requirements to be met in performing an Establishment Clause analysis.
Choice 3 Four factors to be weighed in performing an Establishment Clause analysis.
Choice 4 Four requirements to be met in performing an Establishment Clause analysis.

Southernstate’s legislature recently passed a law requiring that a copy of the Ten Commandments must be posted on the wall of public classrooms statewide. No public funds will be diverted for this purpose as the materials will all be privately donated. Below the last commandment on each poster the following words will be printed: “The secular application of the Ten Commandments is clearly seen in its adoption as the fundamental legal code of Western Civilization and the Common Law of the United States.” Is the law valid?
Choice 1 YES, because it states a secular purposes and the privately-donated posters avoid excessive entanglement by eliminating the need to spend tax dollars.
Choice 2 YES, because the Ten Commandments apply to several different faiths so no particular religion is being endorsed.
Choice 3 NO, because the law does not pass the first part of the Lemon Test.
Choice 4 NO, because the law does not pass the third part of the Lemon Test.
Last year the students at Public School 108 were allowed to decide on their graduation speaker. Following a school vote which included all students, a Catholic priest popular in the community was selected. In order to avoid the controversy he had seen in other school districts in years past, the school Principal called the priest and said “Whatever prayer you use at the end, just make sure it’s non-denominational, O.K.?” The priest readily agreed. Following the graduation ceremony, during which the priest led the school in a brief, non-denominational prayer, an angry group of parents sued to ensure that there would be no similar Establishment Clause violations in future ceremonies. Has there been an Establishment Clause violation?
Choice 1 YES, because the prayer was part of the ceremony.
Choice 2 YES, because the prayer was initiated by a priest.
Choice 3 NO, because there is no law mandating the prayer and therefore the state action requirement has not been met.
Choice 4 NO, because graduation ceremonies are traditionally voluntary and therefore anyone not wishing to engage in prayer need not attend.

© 2003 - 2007 National Paralegal College