Derek H. Davis

Document Type



This Article suggests that the Mitchell v. Helms decision, and the course on which its sets us—offering government aid to religion as a social good—is a blunder that will have serious adverse consequences for the vital role that religion plays in American society. The intention of aiding religion through the beneficent emasculation of traditional tests of government establishment observed in Helms is just the latest instance of our recurrent attempts to kill American religion with kindness. This process is spurred on by a perceived national crisis following tragedies like those in Paducah, Kentucky and Littleton, Colorado. This Article suggests that while the United States has largely resisted the temptation to alter the inherent wisdom of the system, recent political and judicial changes make the First Amendment and American religious groups that depend on it more vulnerable.