OPINIONSrnThe Gospel of Pluralismrnby Kenneth R. Craycraft, Jr.rn”I esteem … Toleration to be the chief Characteristical Markrnof the True Church.”rn—John LockernReligious Liberty in the SupremernCourt: Cases That Define the DebaternOver Church and StaternEdited by Terry EastlandrnWashington, D.C.: Ethics and PublicrnPolicy Center;rn527 pp., $29.95rnThe Culture of Disbelief:rnHow American Law and PohticsrnTrivialize Religious Devotionrnby Stephen L. CarterrnNew York: Basic Books;rn328 pp., $25.00rnIt is fitting that the most confused andrnconfusing legal tradition in Americarntoday is First Amendment case law regardingrnreligious liberty. It is confusingrnbecause at the Founding a young nationrncomposed principally of strongly religiousrnpeople was induced to believe thatrnits nascent political and legal traditionsrnwere invented and instituted in order tornsecure, protect, and even promote therntenets of the Christianity in which it almostrnuniversally believed. SupremernCourt adjudication has henceforth beenrna long-sustained struggle between thosernKenneth R. Craycraft, Jr., is an assistantrnprofessor of theology at St. Mary’srnUniversity in San Antonio, Texas.rnwho take their measure from popularrnsentiment (especially at the time of thernFounding) and those who understandrnthe actual implications of the politicalrntheory manifested in the United StatesrnConstitution and the legal tradition thatrnflows from it.rnTerry Eastland has thus done a servicernto scholars of church-state relationsrnby bringing together 25 of the most importantrnU.S. Supreme Court cases onrnthe religion clauses of the First Amendmentrnhorn 1940 to 1992. He also suppliesrnvaluable footnotes where neededrnfor clarification and includes contemporaryrncommentary after 15 of the cases.rnFinally, the last part of the book includesrninterpretive articles by three of today’srnmost important commentators on FirstrnAmendment jurisprudence: Mary AnnrnGlendon, Michael J. Sandel, and MichaelrnW. McConnell. Sandel’s essay isrnan especially valuable commentary onrnthe current state of the Supreme Court’srnunderstanding of religion.rnAs Eastland explains in the excellentrnintroduction, during the first 150 years orrnso of life under the Bill of Rights, thernfederal courts had little to say about thernrelation of church to state, since the individualrnstates had not yet been “incorporated”rnunder the Bill of Rightsrnthrough the 14th Amendment. Not untilrnCantwell v. Connecticut (1940) didrnthe Supreme Court declare that “thernfundamental concept of liberty embodiedrnin that Amendment”—namely duernprocess of law—”embraces the libertiesrnguaranteed by the First Amendment.”rnOne can immediately see why SupremernCourt jurisprudence is such arnmuddle. Regardless of how one interpretsrnthe First Amendment, no one canrnclaim that the Founders ever intended itrnto apply to the individual states or to individualrnpersons or religions (much asrnJames Madison would have liked it to).rnThus, a legal tenet meant solely to applyrnto the federal government and framedrnwith that unique property in mind isrnnow applied to situations that it was neverrnintended to address. Even if one believesrnthat incorporation is a sound doctrine,rnit still cannot be denied that thernFirst Amendment was written for a differentrnpurpose. It is a square peg beingrnpounded into a round hole.rnThis is especially problematic forrnthose who hold that the First Amendmentrnwas to allow a great range ofrnlegislative freedom regarding religiousrnliberty for the several states under thernprinciple of federalism, which, whenrnapplied to particular cases, severely restrictsrnreligious liberty. That is, the FirstrnAmendment itself is a poor guarantor ofrnreligious freedom when applied to personsrnand religious groups. The FirstrnAmendment was meant to allow statesrnto legislate as they saw fit, and to protectrn32/CHRONICLESrnrnrn