Vocal Point-John Eidsmoe

Topic: Religious Freedom at Risk.

America was founded primarily by those seeking religious freedom. John Eidsmoe is a Christian law professor and author on the subject of church-state issues. Recently he wrote an article about a church-state case out of Louisiana, Spell vs. Edwards. He notes in that piece, “In 2011, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas decried ‘an Establishment Clause jurisprudence in shambles.’ Unable to come to a consensus, the Court has shifted from one theory to another, with confusing, conflicting, and sometimes bizarre results. Over the past several decades the Court has struck down school prayer (1962) and Bible reading (1963) but allowed prayer at town board meetings (2014), prohibited (1948) but later allowed (1952) released-time programs whereby children could be released from school for religious instruction, prohibited the display of the Ten Commandments in schools (1980) but in 2005 prohibited the Ten Commandments in a courthouse but on the same day allowed them on a state capitol lawn, allowed (1984) but later prohibited (1989) a public nativity display, and a host of other irreconcilable rulings….More recently, the Court has moved away from some its more radical rulings, and now says the Establishment Clause ‘must be interpreted by reference to historical practices and understandings’ where ‘the line that courts and governments must draw between the permissible and the impermissible has to accord with history and faithfully reflect the understanding of the Founding Fathers.’” Law professor John Eidsmoe joins Jerry Newcombe to discuss Church-state relations, including “Spell v. Edwards” from Louisiana. www.morallaw.org