Although government intervention in religious affairs is a new and understandably worrisome experience for many American churches, history instructs us that the confrontation is not novel. We can find some comfort in the fact that this double wrestle of state with church and state with individual believers is a perennial match. After all, it has been nearly sixty years since a brutish measure in Oregon making parochial school education unlawful had to be sidelined by the United States Supreme Court in Pierce v. Society of Sisters.' Over forty-five years ago the Supreme Court decided Lovell v. City of Griffin, snuffing out a practice by which municipalities were using ordinances prohibiting the distribution of handbills without a permit to run off proselytizing Jehovah's Witnesses.
Carl H. Esbeck, Toward A General Theory Of Church-State Relations And The First Amendment, 4 Pub. L. Forum 325 (1985)