American Government Society and Religion Timeline Essay

Pages: 4 (1280 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 15  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: American History

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Post-2000 Events

Event 6: Wisconsin v. Yoder (1971)

In this landmark Supreme Court case, the Amish practice of terminating children’s education in the eighth grade became a point of contention between the religious group and the state. The Supreme Court ultimately ruled that in a cost-benefit analysis, the additional one or two years of public education required would not provide a substantial benefit to the children, and the values embodied by Amish society would be sufficient to provide many of the values conveyed by public education of citizenship, moral values, and community. The genuineness of Amish religious values was also reflected in the Court’s decision.

Event 7: Good News Club v. Milford Central School (2001)

Although prayer is officially prohibited from school, this particular case revolved around the question of whether non-school affiliated prayer groups involving students could meet on school grounds. The Court ultimately ruled that the Mitford Central School district had violated the Bible Club’s First Amendment rights and there was no danger of an Establishment Clause violation in allowing the club to meet on school grounds.

Event 8: Locke v. Davey (2004)

The state of Washington specifically excludes devotional and religious study from receiving state-based funding. This was challenged by a religious studies student who would have qualified for aid, had he not specifically been studying this particular subject. The Court ruled against the student, arguing that it was within the state’s right to limit who was bestowed specific scholarships as it saw fit. It did not prohibit the student from studying religion.

Event 9: Christian Legal Society v. Martinez (2010)

The Hastings College of the Law (Hastings), a school within the University of California public university system, refuses to recognize and therefore fund any school group which does not accept all members. This excluded a number of Christian groups which exclude students based upon their sexual orientation religion. Ultimately, the Court found the Hastings policy to be reasonable in promoting the aims of the system.

Event 10: Abercrombie discrimination lawsuit (2015)

The US Supreme Court ruled in favor of a Muslim woman who was prohibited employment from the teenage clothing retailer Abercrombie and Fitch, who argued that the fact she wore a headscarf in keeping with the principles of her religious faith was not keeping with the image it wished to maintain as an organization. The Court ruled that the potential detriment of allowing her to sincerely practice her faith was not sufficient to engage in job discrimination.


The history of religion in the United States is a complex one, and requires a continual balancing of the rights of religious people to exercise their beliefs and practice their religion while still maintaining a neutral stance by the state. People of faith continue to play an active and vibrant role in US society and overall the US Supreme Court in recent years has favored the right of people of faith the practice their religion to the fullest extent, so long as it does not violate the rights of others. This is in recognition of the contribution religion has made to American society, despite the lack of official religion.


Calhoun-Brown, A. (2000). Upon this rock: The black church, nonviolence, and the Civil Rights

Movement. PS: Political Science and Politics, 33(2), 169-174. doi:10.2307/420886

Establishment Clause. (2018). Cornell Law School. Retrieved from:

Kasperkevic, J. (2015). Top US court rules in favor for Muslim woman denied Abercrombie job

over hijab. The Guardian. Retrieved from: woman-hijab-abercrombie-fitch

Landmark Supreme Court cases. (2018). Bill of Rights. Retrieved from:

Religious transformation and the Second Great… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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Cite This Essay:

APA Format

American Government Society and Religion Timeline.  (2018, June 23).  Retrieved January 27, 2020, from

MLA Format

"American Government Society and Religion Timeline."  23 June 2018.  Web.  27 January 2020. <>.

Chicago Format

"American Government Society and Religion Timeline."  June 23, 2018.  Accessed January 27, 2020.