Dekalog

  • Konstytucyjność eksponowania w przestrzeni publicznej Dekalogu w świetle orzecznictwa sądów Stanów Zjednoczonych

    Author: Grzegorz Maroń
    E-mail: grzemar6@op.pl
    Institution: Uniwersytet Rzeszowski
    ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3861-9103
    Year of publication: 2019
    Source: Show
    Pages: 147-170
    DOI Address: https://doi.org/10.15804/ppk.2019.01.08
    PDF: ppk/47/ppk4708.pdf

    The article presents – based on the study of the U.S. case law – the issue of the legality of Ten Commandments displays on government property. Federal and state courts do not agree on the constitutionality of Decalogue displays in a public space. The given case law is characterized by incoherence, casuistry and nuance. The issuing of divergent decisions by the courts in analogous cases is primarily a consequence of the lack of consensus in the judicature regarding the understanding of the constitutional principle of the separation of church and state. The author shares the stand of these American courts, which, while assessing the consistency of Ten Commandments displays on public property with the requirement of religious neutrality of public authorities, take into account the fact that the Decalogue has not only a religious dimension but also a historical and cultural ones. Since the Ten Commandments played an important role in shaping the American legal and social order, its contemporary presentation in public space does not necessarily serve confessional or proselytic purposes, but constitutionally accepted educational goals. It is crucial in the judicial operationalization of the Establishment Clause to make a distinction between the permissible “recognition” of the religion’s significance in the lives of Americans and in the history of the Nation and the State on the one hand and the unconstitutional “advancement” of religion by the pubic authorities on the other hand.

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