The Bible in the Park
Federal District Courts, Religious Speech, and the Public Forum
Publication Year: 2005
Published by: The University of Akron Press
List of Figures
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List of Tables
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The past two decades have seen a significant amount of excellent scholarship on the links between religion and politics. Studies of religion and politics span diverse social science approaches and methods, and indeed are often interdisciplinary in nature, with roots not only in political science, but also economics, sociology, and the law. We now have...
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I have incurred many intellectual debts throughout this project, so I thank the following for their help and support along the way. Thanks especially to my wife Kathryn and all the extended family: Margaret and Angus, my mother Janet, Rachel, Jeff (and Ryan), and David and Judith. Thanks also to Henry J. Abraham and David M. OâBrien at the University...
1. Courts, Religious Speech, and the Naked Public Square
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LIKE MANY UPPER MIDWESTERN TOWNS in the United States, Marshfield, Wisconsin, is tidy, neatly planned out, and safe. Seventy percent of the cityâs residents reported their ancestry in the 2000 census as German, Polish, or Norwegian, and Marshfield is still possessed of the cultural influences of the immigrants who sought to remake central Wisconsin after their homes and villages in Europe. From the food, to surnames, to Polish...
2. Hamlet without the Prince: Religious Speech and the Supreme Court
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WHEN THE KU KLUX KLAN sought an official permit to place an unattended Christian cross in the plaza surrounding the Ohio statehouse, it met stiff resistance. The Capitol Square Review and Advisory Board determines who can access the plaza for expressive purposes, and it denied the KKKâs request. For the board, granting access for the Klanâs religious messageâin the form of the unattended crossâwould be construed as...
3. Standing in the Temple and Teaching the People: Litigants, Courts, and the Public Square
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PUBLIC FORUMS ATTRACT SPEAKERS WHO wish to publicly communicate a specific message. Whether that message is political,social, artistic, or religious, there is some underlying reason why the speaker thinks it belongs in a public space. Understanding district court policy-making in religious speech and public forum cases depends, then, to a large extent on the messages and motivations of...
4. âThe Land Becomes the Message Bearerâ: Locations of the Public Square
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LITIGATION DYNAMICS SHOW THE KINDS of messages and types of expression that speakers seek to place in the public square. As chapter 3 illustrates, the motivations of religious speakers range from Krishna solicitations for money and the distribution of Christian literature by evangelical public school students to the vocal proselytism by preachers such as James Gilles who sought...
5. Sacred Messages, Public Places, and the Content of the Public Square
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THE GIDEON BIBLE (KING JAMES VERSION) is a ubiquitous feature of hotel room accoutrements throughout the United States, and perhaps the world. Its presence reflects the Gideon Bible Societyâs long-standing tradition of distributing Bibles to the public. Robert Alley notes that hotel rooms are only one target of the Gideons: âfor some thirty-five years the Gideons...
6. Conclusion: District Courts, Religious Speech, and the Public Square
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THE GOOD NEWS V. MILFORD Central School case discussed in chapter 5 reflects the Supreme Courtâs continuing focus on the free speech and public forum rights of religious speakers. Yet, the Courtâs division over how and whether the Establishment Clause limits religious speech indicates a lasting disagreement over the constitutional limits on private religious expression in public forums. For this study of district courts...
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Page Count: 300
Illustrations: 20 graphs
Publication Year: 2005