Anonymous asked in Society & CultureReligion & Spirituality · 10 years ago

When was the first time the "establishment clause" in the 1st amendment ever applied to the states?

If american is not a christian nation, then why did it take until 1947 to implement the "establishment clause"?

Why was it "implemented" at all if America did not have an ESTABLISHED religion?


The 1st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution requires that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” There are two parts to this constitutional provision about religion: the establishment clause and the free exercise clause.

Update 2:

This is about RELIGION.

Update 3:

The Dixon School Case (Zellers v. Huff was a lawsuit started in 1948 in New Mexico contesting the use of nuns, religious brothers and priests as teachers in publicly supported schools under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. The case involved thirty schools in eleven New Mexico counties, twenty-eight plaintiffs, two hundred defendants, and public expenditures to the schools of over $600,000 annually. Following on the heels of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Everson v. Board of Education, which applied First Amendment freedoms to state as well as federal law, the Dixon School Case was the first state case to implement separation of church and state in public schools, and was watched with interest nationally.

Christianity was a normal theme in schools. Didn't this case totally violate the "free exercise of religion" clause? They were totally discriminated against because they were christian.

7 Answers

  • 10 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Actually it was in the late 1800s under the leadership of James Blaine, the former Maine senator and Secretary of State under President James Garfield.

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  • 10 years ago

    I dont think any State has ever declared an official religion and so I dont really get your point.

    The clause applied to every state as soon as it was passed and every state that joined after. They could not establish an official religion and they did not.

    It was implemented immediately because it immediately forbade any individual state or the federal gvt to establish a national religion.


    You are using really strange wording for your question.

    That ruling interpreted the Establishment Clause to mean that public schools cant push a religious agenda. That isnt the same as States establishing a religion.

    It was establishing the concept that religious principles need to be separate from public life.

    Legal rulings changed standard practice in the US thruout its growth based on courts interpretations of what they believe the Constitution states. Usually courts follow past precedence and so it is hard for a court to totally turn a Constitutional concept upside down, but as soon as a Supreme Court does turn another ruling upside down then that now becomes the legal interpretation and defintions.

    Until that time the courts did not interpret religious principles in schools as a violation of the Constitution. Courts change, rulings change. This is why electing people that will appoint judges that go by how you think the Constitution should be interpreted is soooooo important when voting and something totally overlooked by most voters.

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  • 3 years ago

    It somewhat does not remember what Sotomayor says. The democrats are in basic terms changing one liberal justice for yet another, now, if a conservative choose have been being replaced by a liberal one we would have rationalization for concern, yet because of the fact the courtroom is stacked now her affirmation would be of little result. as a remember of actuality, the spectacular courtroom has already shown itself to be on the main spectacular area of the 2d exchange situation. in case you look at weapons rules over the final 10 years the NRA has made some tremendous useful factors and function solid help from Blue dogs democrats.

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  • 10 years ago

    'an establishment of religion' not an 'established' religion, two entirely different meanings. Plus I do not believe the founding fathers use the term ' christian'. So something that happened in 1948 still bothers you? To answer you last question: No

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  • Leo
    Lv 7
    10 years ago

    Your question grossly oversimplifies a complex subject and tries to cram it into one meaningless talking point.

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  • 10 years ago

    this question belongs in government. or history.

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  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    ok fine we know this but why is this in relig???? we know theres freedom

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