Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name




Committee Chair

Mackey, Thomas C., 1956-

Author's Keywords

Supreme Court; Establishment Clause; First Amendment; Religion; Founding Fathers


Freedom of religion--United States; Church and state--United States; United States. Supreme Court; United States. Constitution. 1st Amendment


This study examined the faiths of select Founding Fathers, the religious context of their time, and six Supreme Court decisions concerning religion, to highlight the inconsistencies found within the Supreme Court's jurisprudence covering cases concerning religion. Through an examination of the religious practices of the Founding Fathers, it became evident that their views on religion, and how religion should be observed, were as diverse as they were. An examination of the Supreme Court's jurisprudence concerning religion reflects a very confusing and inconsistent application of the First Amendment, including the Court's inability to formulate a test that can be consistently applied to cases concerning religion. Through the examination of the Founding Fathers and the Supreme Court's decisions concerning religion, it became apparent that the Supreme Court needs to find a way to examine religious cases that is consistent with the Court's jurisprudence and the principles of the First Amendment.