The Importance Of Public Life

933 Words4 Pages
Public life: There are two main clauses in the First Amendment-the ‘Establishment clause’ according to which no Government employee or organization can discriminate on religious grounds and the ‘Free Exercise clause’ which ensures religious freedom for citizen and religious groups or clubs. In public life, freedom to express religious views extends to traditions such as marriage, baptism, etc, also dress code followed by a particular religion, refusal to take part in military service, to name a few. Sometimes the Government offers support to religious groups but since it is not unconstitutional, it is acceptable. Some examples are financial aid to religiously affiliated schools, colleges, hospital, charitable organizations, etc; employment of priests in Government prisons, income tax exemption for churches, etc. Religious symbols cannot be used in any building which is public property, including courts. Controversy has been generated on account of public holidays which are linked to a religion such as Christmas or Hanukkah. Displays in public spaces such as parks or town halls such as Nativity scenes or the Jewish menorah has often invited legal issues. Media sources such as radio, television or newspapers cannot be used for propagation of religious theories. The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) is an independent body which tracks violation of religious freedom in countries across the world and also looks at associated human rights issues. It
Open Document