Other Miscellaneous Examples of Religion in Government

In addition to that which has already been provided, there are numerous other instances of government aid to religion, or of religion involved in public affairs. For example, the Bible is used for the administration of oaths. N. Y. A. and W. P. A. funds were available to parochial schools during the depression. Veterans receiving money under the `G. I.' Bill of 1944 could attend denominational schools, to which payments were made directly by the government. During World War II, federal money was contributed to denominational schools for the training of nurses. The Hospital Survey and Construction Act of 1946 specifically made money available to non-public hospitals. The slogan `In God We Trust' is used by the Treasury Department, and Congress added God to the pledge of allegiance. Religious organizations are exempt from the federal income tax and are granted postal privileges. Up to defined limits, contributions to religious organizations are deductible for federal income tax purposes. There are no limits to the deductibility of gifts and bequests to religious institutions made under the federal gift and estate tax laws.[1]

These, as well as many other examples, make it abundantly clear that this country has a heritage of religious involvement in the public sector. To quote the opinion of the Supreme Court majority in Zorach v. Clauson: "We are a religious people whose institutions presuppose a Supreme Being." And we have had and should have policies in place to that effect.

[1] These items are extracted from Justice Stewart's dissent in Engel v. Vitale.

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