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Religious Liberty - Legal

Original Intent: Chief Justice Rehnquist and the Course of American Church/State Relations. Derek Davis. We hear a great deal about “original intent” these days, and how the Supreme Court should interpret the Constitution according to what the founding fathers intended. Derek Davis is one of the foremost American scholars of church/state law and history, having served as the director of the church state studies program at Baylor University. Davis does an excellent job of explaining the significant impact that Rehnquist has had on the development of constitutional law of church/state relations.

The Yoder Case: Religious Freedom, Education and Parental Rights. Shawn Francis Peters. One of the high marks for the free exercise of religion in the Supreme Court was its decision exempting Amish children from compulsory attendance at high school. This book recounts the story of that amazing case.

Why Churches Should Not Pay Taxes. Dean M. Kelley. The author was one of the towering figures in the interfaith and religious freedom community during his lifetime. Today, as secular scholars increasingly question various religious tax exemptions, this book remains a classic defense of a basic part of the separation of church and state, protecting the independence and autonomy of religious bodies.

Battleground: One Mother’s Crusade, the Religious Right, and the Struggle for our Schools. Stephen Bates. What happens when a mother wants to exempt her children from reading books in public school that she believes are Satanic, and in conflict with her religious beliefs and values? What happens when a community is torn apart by conflict over its schools, a conflict that rages in the courts in a small town in Tennessee? Bates does a marvelous job of telling the story.

Church Discipline and the Courts. Lynn Buzzard and Thomas S. Brandon, Jr. The issue of church discipline can be explosive, and is certainly quite sensitive. How a church handles discipline issues, the conflicting rights of individual church members to privacy and to avoid reputational injury as against a church’s associational rights and right to exercise discipline provide a fascinating and difficult area for the law to address. The authors are lawyers and experts in the field.

Mere Creatures of the State? A View from the Courtroom. William Bentley Ball. One of the most prominent lawyers handling religious liberty cases gives a highly readable account of cases, with his perspective on the crucial religious liberty issues at stake.