Free Interpretation Of The Establishment Clause

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The First Amendment to the Constitution, ratified in 1791, states “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” (US Const., amend I, sec 1.). The Establishment Clause prohibits the government from making laws recognizing an official religion, or unduly (dis)favouring a certain religion, while the Free Exercise Clause affirms the right of American citizens to freely exercise their religious beliefs and practices. Interpretations of this legislation have evolved dramatically throughout American history, as its initial effect was to protect the dominant Protestant groups (Barner-Barry, 9). Eventually, Catholicism gained popularity and America was recognized as a Christian nation,
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