Nebraska State Constitution Article I-4
All persons have a natural and indefeasible right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own consciences. No person shall be compelled to attend, erect or support any place of worship against his consent, and no preference shall be given by law to any religious society, nor shall any interference with the rights of conscience be permitted. No religious test shall be required as a qualification for office, nor shall any person be incompetent to be a witness on account of his religious beliefs; but nothing herein shall be construed to dispense with oaths and affirmations. Religion, morality, and knowledge, however, being essential to good government, it shall be the duty of the Legislature to pass suitable laws to protect every religious denomination in the peaceable enjoyment of its own mode of public worship, and to encourage schools and the means of instruction.
- Neb. Const. art. I, sec. 4 (1875).
1. Religious freedom
1. Religious freedom
A public exhibition of religious worship, in the form of a seance for gain on stage or at show, is not a religious liberty guaranteed by Constitution. Dill v. Hamilton, 137 Neb. 723, 291 N.W. 62 (1940).
Restricting term "Religious purpose" to church organization is a transgression of the constitutional inhibition made by this section. Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite v. Board of County Commissioners, 122 Neb. 586, 241 N.W. 93 (1932), overruled Scottish Rite Bldg. Co. v. Lancaster County, 106 Neb. 95, 182 N.W. 574 (1921), and Mt. Moriah Lodge, A.F. & A.M. v. Otoe County, 101 Neb. 274, 162 N.W. 639 (1917).
Holding Sunday School or religious meetings in a country schoolhouse so infrequently as not to exceed four times a year, and which does not interfere with the school work, does not constitute a place of worship within the meaning of this section. State ex rel. Gilbert v. Dilley, 95 Neb. 527, 145 N.W. 999 (1914).
Courts will not refuse to protect property rights because they may thereby interfere with religious convictions of some individual or group. Constitution contemplates courts may be called upon to protect religious denominations in peaceable enjoyment of own form of worship. Parish of the Immaculate Conception v. Murphy, 89 Neb. 524, 131 N.W. 946 (1911).
The Nebraska Supreme Court interprets the paucity of standards in the free instruction clause as the framers' intent to commit the determination of adequate school funding solely to the Legislature's discretion, greater resources, and expertise. Nebraska Coalition for Ed. Equity v. Heineman, 273 Neb. 531, 731 N.W.2d 164 (2007).
The plain language of the religious freedom clause textually commits to the Legislature the duty to encourage schools. Nebraska Coalition for Ed. Equity v. Heineman, 273 Neb. 531, 731 N.W.2d 164 (2007).
There are no qualitative, constitutional standards for public schools that the Nebraska Supreme Court could enforce, apart from the requirements that the education in public schools must be free and available to all children. Nebraska Coalition for Ed. Equity v. Heineman, 273 Neb. 531, 731 N.W.2d 164 (2007).
Right to religious freedom was not denied by requirement that all schools be taught by qualified teacher. Meyerkorth v. State, 173 Neb. 889, 115 N.W.2d 585 (1962).
Use of state funds to support a school maintained by religious denomination is in violation of this section. State ex rel. Public Sch. Dist. No. 6 of Cedar County v. Taylor, 122 Neb. 454, 240 N.W. 573 (1932).
Reading in public schools of passages from the Bible, singing of hymns, and offering prayer, in accordance with the doctrines of sectarian churches, is forbidden by the Constitution. State ex rel. Freeman v. Scheve, 65 Neb. 853, 91 N.W. 846 (1902), judgment adhered to 65 Neb. 876, 93 N.W. 169 (1903).
Legislature cannot authorize donations by public corporations for religious purposes. United Community Services v. Omaha Nat. Bank, 162 Neb. 786, 77 N.W.2d 576 (1956).