RELIGION, THE COURTS, AND PUBLIC POLICY by

RELIGION, THE COURTS, AND PUBLIC POLICY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This is an expert, legalistic review of the public attitude toward the place of religion in the U.S., particularly as it has been expressed in the courts. Father Drinan points out that there has never been an absolute ""wall of separation"" between Church and State here and he demonstrates this through an examination of three outstanding problems: religious education in the public schools, tax support of church-related schools, and the right of Sabbatarians to work on Sundays. The various ambiguities and contradictions in state and federal court decisions he considers reflective of the nation's confusion about these complex problems which are only lately being thought out. His mood, therefore, is generally optimistic. He is, of course, making a special case for the Catholic position and like all religionists he is not so generous when dealing with the rights of non-believers. He admits that Catholics have generally been indifferent to the concept of the public school but he thinks this could partly be remedied by the ""shared time"" proposal, though this too has its drawbacks. Father Drinan is not a very lively writer and his method of reasoning will doubtless be irritating to many. But the questions he deals with are so controversial that his book deserves to be read and will certainly receive attention from serious journals.

Pub Date: June 19th, 1963
Publisher: McGraw-Hill