Date of Award

Spring 2007

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science


Political Science

First Advisor

Dr. Ellis West

Second Advisor

Dr. Melissa Labonte

Third Advisor

Dr. Daniel Palazzolo


The relationship between government and religion is a difficult one. The question of how religious beliefs and practices should be treated by the government remains at the forefront of constitutional debate. There are concerns about religious freedom and the extent to which it conflicts with public duty. The First Amendment of the United States Constitution states, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." The Supreme Court's interpretation of the religion clauses has been unclear, inconsistent, and, therefore, extremely controversial. In fact, it has not become less controversial over time, but quite the opposite.