The Legal Interpretation of Religious Liberty in America
The development end diffusion of scientific knowledge and the growing liberalism and modern conception of man's relation to the universe and his Maker have urged modifications of former conceptions of religious liberty. The type of religious liberty which was consistent with the thought of a century ago is hardly adequate to modem views. This work is primarily interested in the question: What constitutes religious liberty in the modern legal sense? Without doubt, there has been - even in our day - considerable loose thinking on this subject - and the author does not hope to escape this indictment. The subject has been the source of many legal controversies which have been carried to the highest state courts and in some instances to the supreme court of the United States for final adjudication, perhaps, no where else do we find more sober, mature, broad and profound consideration of the subject than that given in judicial opinions, involving as they do the moat sacred rights of personal liberty. The modern idea of state, however, is neither religious nor irreligious; and modern political science does not profess to comprehend the ways of God, but endeavors to understand the state as a human institution.