Building a completely ethical law department has been a challenge to the realization of a perfect justice system in nations all over the world. The particular reasons behind this are not had to discern.  The nature of operations and duties undertaken by this justice department demand high levels of law practices that are not easily attainable by the majority of officers. This has even raised the rate at which most of institutions violate the religion clauses of the Constitution.  According to Simmons-Harris,“Police work by its very nature involves the slippery slope (the potential for gradual deterioration of social-moral inhibitions and perceived sense of permissibility for deviant conduct).” In addition to the above, acts of corruption perpetuates due to conflicts between loyalty and integrity, acts of omission, perceived sense of victimization and criminal acts of commission.

Therefore the question whether aid to parochial schools violate the religion clauses of the Constitution had been expounded by the Supreme Court and it became the final arbiter of whether states could support religious schools through either direct or indirect funding.  It is vividly seen that the slippery slope of violation of the religion clauses triggers the state law to impose a tax deduction to parents of children attending either non-public school or public, and Justice Rehnquist eagerly depicted that the major reason of the law was not necessarily to benefit parochial schools or the parents of children seeking education in such schools.


Supreme Court cases dealing with religion and education in regards to violation of religion clauses have created ethical expectation and values to attain a gratuity of minor value. The relationship between religion and education has been a major concern in the Supreme Court system given the fact that small acts of gratuity spiral into acceptance of larger volume of gratuities. even before the supreme Court could reach the controversy, it had to make decision cases that emerged as a result of the public right to provide education to all children colliding with a parent's private right to educate his child as he deemed appropriate.

In addition to the above, various cases rose in regards to education and religion such “Does a state tax deduction against gross income for parents of parochial school children violate the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment?” This was considered fringe benefits of the job by the Supreme Court because they do violate the religion clauses. The Court assured a lower court's ruling that the tax scheme did violate the Establishment Clause. This is due to the fact that only parents of non-Public School children benefited from the plan, the lower court viewed Nyquist (1973) as controlling. Any plan that excludes a class of parents has the impact of advancing religion.

Practices may lead to the development of a culture of “freebies” form students who may expect preferential treatments from the religion officers. In Aguilar, New York wishes to pay public workers to teach in parochial schools pursuant to the previously mentioned title program. Whereas this may have no significant impact in the in the ethical values of the religion clauses, these cats have the capacity to snowball and lead to erosion of ethical values that breeds corruption.

Does it matter if the aid attempts to support a secular rather than a sectarian function?

The hypothesis on the aid attempts to support a secular rather than a sectarian function at large asserts that aid itself may be responsible for corrupting public servants such as police officers. The gratuity that the aid extends to officers and doormen within the criminal justice system has the capacity to spiral and develop a culture of exchange. Officers have to be offered a gratuity in the form of a freebie to provide their services.

Lawyers expounds that “police officers came to expect these gratuities as a bellhop might expect a tip for bringing luggage up to a class room or a valet might expect a tip for parking a car.” This hypothesis asserts that the actions of the religion or the community have the greatest capacity to impact on the ethical values of criminal justice officers. This is basically in line with the way the culture of relationships between the public and police officers is structured.

The structural or affiliation hypothesis on the other hand refers to the belief that aid attempts to support a secular rather than a sectarian function down from the brass to the rank and file – that leaders set examples for their departments. The impacts of such affiliation and existence breed high levels of corruption within the ranks of police officers. This is because of the fact that departmental leaders of religions have the duty and responsibility of entrenching ethical standards within their departments.

Ineffective leadership and the inability to control affairs of a department on the part of its leaders promote corruption.  A good example of this type of hypothesis is a head of anti-drug police unit who supports the activities of a drug gang and let gang members sell drugs within his jurisdiction. The Lemon test requires consideration of three separate issues. First, a statute must have a secular purpose second; the primary impact of the statute must neither advance nor inhibit religion. The bribes received from the leader as protection fees is shared within the ranks of the police department to completely cover up the criminal activities and protect the drug barons.

Last, the theory of rotten apple asserts that some officers within the criminal justice system are just brought up unethically; corruption and other acts of unethical behavior is part of their entrenched character. The court expounds this theory by illustrating that, “assessing the validity of state aid to parochial schools under the establishment clause of the first amendment, however, the Supreme Court has declared a majority of aid programs presented for review unconstitutional.”

Is there a significant analytical difference between direct aid given to the institution and indirect aid given to the parents?

According to this view, the very structure of policing (exposure to unsavory characters, forgetting what you learned in the academy, clannishness, and overzealous, misguided approaches to crime control) provides significant analytical difference between direct aid given to the institution and indirect aid given to the parents and therefore plenty of opportunities to learn the entrenched patterns of direct aid that have been passed down thru generations.

This group of parents may have had bad exposure during their childhood and eventually got listed in the police service. They are therefore involved in acts that they are charged with the duty of deterring in the society such as selling drugs, robbery, murder and other serious crimes. The rotten apple hypothesis is good at understanding the fundamental reason behind high increases in direct aid given to the institution and indirect aid given to the parents in specific areas where specific religion leaders are stationed.

In addition to the above, we don't agree on everything the Court has done with respect to its interpretation of the First Amendment. We think that it has approved some types of aid to religious schools that should not have been approved. Such significant analytical differences have led to critical departments in religion clauses of the Constitution into several problems such as paying teachers to teach in religious schools which might result in a public workers promoting religion.

Related essays