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Freedom of Religion - Part 4

Hawaii
State:

• Does a Hawaii law declaring Good Friday to be a legal holiday violate the first amendment's nonestablishment of religion clause? No, concluded a federal district court. The court observed: "The primary purpose of the statute which establishes Good Friday as a legal holiday was to increase the number and frequency of legal holidays. This purpose is clearly secular. The court also finds that the primary effect of the statute is secular. The Good Friday holiday allows the people of Hawaii to play or pray as they see fit. Even the plaintiffs concede that many more people can be found in Hawaii's parks and shopping malls on Good Friday than can be found in its churches. Moreover, this court's finding that Good Friday is similar in nature to Thanksgiving and Christmas provides additional ground for insulating the Good Friday holiday from a successful constitutional challenge. Just as Christmas ...

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Richard R. Hammar is an attorney, CPA and author specializing in legal and tax issues for churches and clergy.

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Posted:
  • July 1, 1988

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