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Pastor, Church & Law

written by Richard R. Hammar, J.D., LL.M., CPA


Volume 4 . Chapter 13 . § 13-02.4

The following rules summarize the current interpretation of the First Amendment guaranty of religious freedom, in light of the most recent Supreme Court decisions and other relevant precedent.

RULE #1. It will be difficult for religious organizations to challenge neutral laws of general applicability that burden religious practices or beliefs, because such laws are presumably valid whether or not supported by a compelling government interest.

Rule #1 is based on the Supreme Court's decisions in the Smith and City of Boerne cases. RFRA's attempt to establish a "compelling government interest" requirement in order to justify governmental infringements upon religion was declared unconstitutional by the Court in the City of Boerne ruling.

RULE #2. ...

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