Religious Organizations affiliating with Political Parties.

Compose an essay of at least 2000 words but no more than 3000 words (not including your references list) in which you discuss in depth the following topic, making

sure to offer your critical thinking opinions (opinions plus reasons and evidence) of relevant ideas from the Weeks 1-4 readings wherever possible:

Since its 1947 decision in Everson v. Board of Education (with an opinion written by Justice Hugo Black), the Supreme Court has further considered and limited the

active role that religion or religious institutions can play in the public sphere—that is, on government property. In your essay, present an argument for the following


(a) Faith groups and institutions should be allowed to form political parties and they should attempt to gain influence in the workings of government for their views

and values by entering the realm of political discourse and attempting to elect their own politicians.

In answering these questions, you will specifically want to reference and critique, wherever possible, relevant ideas from the Week 1 readings on values; Plato,

Aristotle, Locke, Jefferson, from Week 2; the Week 3 readings on interpretation of the Constitution, and the Week 4 readings listed below:

John Winthrop: Selections from “A Model of Christian Charity” (1630)

Jonathan Edwards: The Great Awakening: “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” (1741)

Benjamin Franklin: “A Witch Trial at Mount Holly” (1730; note: this is a work of satire—fiction—not of journalism)

Separation of Church and State:

Michael Novak: “Faith and the American Founding”

Marci Hamilton: “The Ten Commandments and American Law: Why Some Christians’ Claims to Legal Hegemony Are Not Consistent with the Historical Record” (Sept.

11, 2003)

Thomas Jefferson: Letter to the Danbury Baptists, Jan. 1, 1802

Daniel Dreisbach: “The Mythical ‘Wall of Separation’”

Christopher Clausen: “America’s Design for Tolerance” (2007)

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