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The Miracle: Film Censorship and the Entanglement of Church and State

By Marjorie Heins*

Introduction: A Religious Parable Leads to a Supreme Court Case

Late in December 1950, an obscure foreign movie called Il Miracolo opened at the Paris Theater in Manhattan. Directed by the pioneer of Italian neorealism, Roberto Rossellini, The Miracle is a religious parable featuring a dim-witted peasant woman, Nanni (played brilliantly by Anna Magnani), who is plied with drink and then seduced by a vagabond whom she mistakes in her stupor for St. Joseph. (St. Joseph is played by the young Federico Fellini, who also wrote the screenplay.)

It's not clear whether Nanni is even awake for the actual sex, but in any event, she soon discovers she is pregnant and decides it is an immaculate conception. Her fellow villagers are not so naive; they mock and torment her, even singing religious hymns as they parade her through the streets with a basin instead of a halo on her head. Nanni escapes to a hilltop church, and experiences a beatific moment of religious ecstasy after giving birth alone on the church floor.

When released in Italy in 1948, The Miracle was harshly criticized by the Catholic Cinematographic Center - an arm of the Vatican devoted to vetting movies for moral propriety. But it was not banned - indeed, it was shown at the Venice Film Festival, where works considered blasphemous by the Vatican would not have been allowed.1 The Vatican's semi-official newspaper, Osservatore Romano, published a guardedly appreciative review, noting that "objections from a religious viewpoint are very grave," but also pointing to "scenes of undoubted screen value," and concluding that "we still believe in Rossellini's art."2

In New York City, public officials were not so broadminded. City License Commissioner Edward McCaffrey, a former state commander of the Catholic War Veterans, announced that he found The Miracle "officially and personally blasphemous," and ordered the manager of the Paris to stop showing it. The next day, the Catholic Church's Legion of Decency called The Miracle a "blasphemous mockery of Christian-religious truth," and McCaffrey suspended the theater's license.3

The film's distributor, Joseph Burstyn, filed a lawsuit to challenge McCaffrey. Burstyn was a champion of foreign films; several years earlier, he had introduced Americans to the glories of post-World War II European cinema by exhibiting Rossellini's masterpiece, Open City. Movie star Ingrid Bergman, bored by performing in formulaic Hollywood vehicles, was entranced by Open City when she saw it, and by Rossellini's next feature, Paisan. Whereupon she sent Rossellini one of the more famous letters in cinema history. "I am ready to come and make a film with you," Bergman wrote, even though I know only two words in Italian: "Ti amo."4 With this introduction, it was probably only a matter of time before Bergman deserted her husband and ran off with Rossellini. The affair was still good tabloid copy when The Miracle opened at the Paris in Manhattan as part of a trilogy of short foreign films called The Ways of Love.5

Burstyn's lawsuit came before a judge who, at a preliminary hearing, questioned McCaffrey's power to censor movies. Film censorship was well-entrenched in New York, but it was vested in the state Board of Regents, not the municipal license commissioner. Exhibitors had to apply in advance to the state board before showing any film. McCaffrey backed off and lifted his ban.

But now a more powerful figure, Francis Cardinal Spellman, entered the fray, with a statement attacking The Miracle that he ordered read at every mass in all 400 parishes of the huge New York Archdiocese.6 Spellman, a right-winger whose political power was such that he was known as the "American Pope,"7 had not seen The Miracle, but he had heard about it. This was enough for him to condemn the film as "a despicable affront to every Christian" and "a vicious insult to Italian womanhood" which should really be named "'Woman Further Defamed,' by Roberto Rossellini" (a reference, of course, to the affair with Bergman). Spellman said it was "a blot upon the escutcheon of the Empire State that no means of appeal to the Board of Regents is available to the people for the correcting of the mistake made by its motion picture division" in giving a license to exhibit The Miracle in the first place.8

Picketing began at the Paris the same day, and continued for several weeks. Sometimes numbering more than 1,000, these representatives of the Catholic War Veterans, Knights of Columbus, and Archdiocesan Union of the Holy Name Society carried signs bearing such messages as: "This Picture is an Insult to Every Decent Woman and Her Mother," "This Picture is Blasphemous," and "Don't be a Communist – all the Communists are inside." They yelled similar affronts: "Don't enter that cesspool!", "Buy American!," "Don't look at that filth!"9

Eight days after Cardinal Spellman's lament that there was no way for the state to rectify its error in licensing The Miracle, a way was found. A three-man committee of the Board of Regents convened, viewed the film, and declared it "sacrilegious." Four days later, the full Board directed Burstyn to "show cause" why the exhibition license should not be withdrawn. And on February 15, 1951, despite briefs supporting artistic freedom from the Authors League, prominent Protestant clergy, the ACLU, and assorted writers and intellectuals, the full Board ruled that the film was sacrilegious and therefore in violation of New York's 30 year-old film censorship law. The Miracle parodied the Immaculate Conception and Virgin Birth, they explained, " - concepts "sacred to [millions of our people]," and inexcusably associated them with "drunkenness, seduction, mockery and lewdness."10

Burstyn's attorney, the First Amendment expert Ephraim London, now took an appeal; but the state courts rejected his arguments that not only the sacrilege standard, but the very existence of movie licensing, violated the First Amendment. On the contrary, using a rationale that is often heard today from those advocating state benefits for religion, the New York judges said they were simply accommodating citizens' religious preferences. Not to protect believers against "gratuitous insult" to their religious beliefs, according to the state Court of Appeals' logic, would amount to discrimination against them and hence an infringement of their freedom "to worship and believe as they choose."11

The appeals court disposed of arguments by both London and the American Jewish Congress (in a friend-of-the-court brief) that the Church-driven censorship of The Miracle violated the First Amendment's Establishment Clause, which prohibits Congress from making any "law respecting an establishment of religion," and is generally understood to mandate the separation of church and state. The state's obeisance to Cardinal Spellman yielded only an "incidental" benefit to religion, said the court; and in any event, "[w]e are essentially a religious nation, ... of which it is well to be reminded now and then."12

London now appealed to the Supreme Court; and in a unanimous decision in May 1952 in the case of Burstyn v. Wilson, the Court declared "sacrilege" far too vague a censorship standard to be permitted under the First Amendment. Weaving an elaborate metaphor, Justice Tom Clark wrote for the Court that trying to decide what qualifies as sacrilege sets the censor "adrift upon a boundless sea amid a myriad of conflicting currents of religious views, with no charts but those provided by the most vocal and powerful orthodoxies." He added that "it is not the business of government ... to suppress real or imagined attacks upon a particular religious doctrine."13

Clark noted in passing that banning films because of sacrilege might also "raise substantial questions" under the Establishment Clause; indeed, censorship based on a standard like "sacrilege" inevitably favors vocal and powerful religions over quieter and weaker ones. "Under such a standard, the most careful and tolerant censor would find it virtually impossible to avoid favoring one religion over another."14

But Clark stopped short of deciding the case on Establishment Clause grounds - with consequences that reverberate today. With government vouchers funding religious schools, a White House Office of Faith-Based Initiatives, and widespread outrage last summer over a federal court decision recognizing that the words "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance represent government endorsement of religion, we are still wrestling with the issues in the Miracle case.

Film Censorship and Religion

When Cardinal Spellman pressured New York authorities to revoke the exhibition license for The Miracle, he was exercising a power that the Catholic Church had come to take for granted. How the Church came to control the content of movies is one of the more remarkable chapters in American censorship history.

Film censorship is almost as old as film itself, and from the beginning, religion played a major role. In the early 1900s, Progressive Era Protestant reformers joined with more conservative clergy in alarm over the new, cheap "nickelodeon" theaters that were popular with urban adolescents and the working class.15 The nickelodeons featured short films of vaudeville-inspired melodrama and burlesque, bawdy street scenes (for example, breezes exposing women's underclothes), and crime stories like The Great Train Robbery (1903), America's first big cinematic hit.16 Early filmmakers also "turned to popular literature [and] drama," as historian Gregory Black recounts; they explored "'the corruption of city politics, the scandal of white slave rackets, the exploitation of immigrants' ...; [they] 'championed the cause of labor, lobbied against political "bosses," and often gave dignity to the struggles of the urban poor.'"17

But neither the social themes nor the artistry of early American cinema mitigated the concerns of the Progressive Era's anti-vice crusaders. In the words of film scholar Garth Jowett, reformers accused the nickelodeons of causing "every conceivable social ill, from sexual license to demonstrating the arts of pickpocketing to fomenting social revolution."18

Municipalities and states quickly responded with censorship laws. Chicago led the way in 1907, with an ordinance that required exhibitors to secure a permit from the police before showing any film.19 Pennsylvania followed in 1911, Kansas and Ohio in 1913, Maryland in 1916.20 New York established a motion picture commission in 1921, directed to deny exhibition licenses to any film it considered "obscene, indecent, immoral, inhuman, sacrilegious, or ... of such character that its exhibition would tend to corrupt morals or incite to crime."21 With little change, this was the law at issue in the Miracle case.

A legal challenge to the new licensing restrictions was inevitable; it reached the Supreme Court in 1915. The Mutual Film Company claimed that Ohio's film censorship law violated both the First Amendment and a similar provision in the state Constitution. But the Court, in a decision that shocked the nascent film industry, upheld the licensing scheme, ruling that cinema was not a form of expression protected by the First Amendment.

The exhibition of movies "is a business, pure and simple," said the Court. Movies are "originated and conducted for profit, like other spectacles [such as circuses, and are] not to be regarded ... as part of the press of the country, or as organs of public opinion." Certainly, movies communicate ideas, the Court acknowledged; but censorship was justified because of the nature of movie audiences and the medium's capacity for "evil" and potential appeal to "prurient interest."22

The subtext here was difficult to miss. As Garth Jowett writes, books and newspapers were also sold for profit, but not subject to prior-restraint licensing. The assertion that cinema has greater "capacity for evil" was based "on the presumed susceptibility of its "primary audience ... – largely the immigrant working class."23

The Mutual Film decision gave the green light to film censorship, and in the 50 years that followed, thousands of movies were cut, bowdlerized, or outright banned by state and local censors. Chicago banned newsreels of policemen shooting labor pickets; "ordered the deletion of a scene depicting the birth of a buffalo in Walt Disney's Vanishing Prairie"; refused a license for Anatomy of a Murder, "because it found the use of the words 'rape' and 'contraceptive' to be objectionable"; and banned Charlie Chaplin's classic satiric attack on Hitler, The Great Dictator, "apparently out of deference to its large German population." Atlanta banned Lost Boundaries, the story of "a Negro doctor's attempt to pass as white," on the ground that it would "adversely affect the peace, morals, and good order" of the city. A film version of Carmen was condemned in Ohio because girls "smoked cigarettes in public," and in Pennsylvania because of "the duration of a kiss."24 In 1928 alone, writes Black, New York's censorship board "cut over 4,000 scenes from the more than 600 films submitted, and Chicago censors sliced more than 600 scenes."25

This highly decentralized system left much to be desired from the viewpoint of both Catholic and Protestant critics, as well as anti-vice crusaders like the Women's Christian Temperance Union (the WCTU), and indeed, the industry itself. For one thing, not all states and localities had censorship boards. (By 1922, seven states and about 100 localities did.) For another, their standards varied widely. While Protestant clergy and moral reformers were outraged at sexual content (Cecil B. DeMille's orgiastic Biblical epics were a particular concern), Southern cities banned anything even remotely provocative on the subject of race.

As more licensing bills were introduced in state legislatures (about 100 were considered in 1921 alone),26 and reformers pushed for a uniform national censorship system, Hollywood took its first stab at improving its image and thereby, it hoped, stopping the legislative juggernaut. In 1922, the major studios formed the Motion Picture Producers & Distributors of America (MPPDA) and hired Will Hays, former Postmaster General and head of the Republican National Committee, as its director. "Teetotaler, elder in the Presbyterian Church, Elk, Moose, Rotarian, and Mason," as Black writes, "Hays brought the respectability of mainstream middle America to a Jewish-dominated film industry."27

Hays introduced a list of "Don'ts and Be Carefuls" for movies. Among the many disapproved subjects were profanity, nudity, "illegal traffic in drugs," white slavery, miscegenation, "sex hygiene and venereal diseases," scenes of childbirth, and "ridicule of the clergy."28 But the studios interpreted this pre-Code as they chose, and bridled at Hays's efforts to control them. Dissatisfied, Protestant clergy continued to press for a national censorship law. One Protestant minister, William Chase, for example, complained in 1921 that the industry's "Hebrew" owners were "vile corrupters of American morals," and a "threat to world civilization." This anti-Semitism, not always so blatant but always lurking beneath the surface, would be a continuing theme as activists pressed for greater film censorship.29

The Catholic Church now began to organize. The major strategist was Martin Quigley, a Chicago publisher of an industry trade journal who favored censorship but not by municipal licensing authorities, which had shown themselves all too amenable to payoffs. Quigley saw that more effective control of movie content could be achieved through vetting and editing at the pre-production stage. He persuaded Chicago's Cardinal George Mundelein and a Jesuit priest, FitzGeorge Dinneen, to develop a Catholic code for movies. In 1929, they invited a young Jesuit theologian named Daniel Lord to help them draft such a code.30

Lord's draft not only contained specific prohibitions but announced sweeping moral prescriptions - for example, the general principle that no film should "lower the moral standards of those who see it. Hence the sympathy of the audience should never be thrown to the side of crime, wrong-doing, evil or sin." "Impure love" should not be presented so as "to arouse passion"; nudity or semi-nudity should never be shown, nor should "lustful kissing." Government and organized religion should not be disparaged, nor should ministers be comic characters or villains.31

Lord's code came at an opportune time for Will Hays. With the movie industry in jitters after the recent stock market crash, with the Church's threat of 20 million Catholics boycotting immoral movies, and perhaps most important, with investment bankers - on whom the new, expensive "talkies" depended for financing - sounding the alarm to studio boards, Hays persuaded the producers to accept Father Lord's draft, and in 1930, with only minor changes, it became the Hollywood Production Code.32

Between 1930 and '34, Hays and his staff struggled with Hollywood's producers to enforce the Code. But if anything, movies got saltier in the early 1930s, as studios labored to attract audiences despite the Depression. Mae West's She Done Him Wrong, with its sexy banter and hip-rolling heroine, was a hit in 1932; her I'm No Angel the following year was equally egregious, and popular with Americans of both sexes. The great gangster films – Little Caesar, Scarface, Public Enemy – were all produced in the early '30s when Lord's Code was supposedly in effect. Cecil B. DeMille's Roman orgies continued to succeed at the box office and outrage the Church.

Frustrated by this state of affairs, Quigley and several prominent American bishops persuaded Monsignor Amleto Cicognani, visiting from the Vatican in 1934, to urge harsher action against Hollywood. Cicognani's subsequent speech to Catholic Charities in New York mourned the movies' "massacre of innocence of youth" and urged Catholics to unite in a campaign "for the purification of the cinema."33 With this seeming imperative from Rome, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops now vowed to create a "Legion of Decency" that would decide which movies should be forbidden to Catholics, and to organize boycotts of theaters that showed any film thus condemned.34

Hays welcomed the pressure. Like the Church, he preferred industry self-regulation to government censorship. Bolstered by the threats from bankers, Hays now established the Production Code Administration (PCA) to vet all scripts in advance, and hired Joseph Breen, a brash PR man and unrepentant anti-Semite who had worked with Martin Quigley in Chicago, to head the new censorship office.

Breen had already expressed frustration at the producers' independence. In 1932, he wrote to Father Wilfred Parsons, a fellow censorship activist and a Jesuit professor, that Hays was wrong to think "these lousy Jews out here [in Hollywood] would abide by the Code's provisions." Hays lacked "proper knowledge of the breed," Breen continued. " ... They are simply a rotten bunch of vile people with no respect for anything beyond the making of money." There is no record that Father Parsons or any other church official took Breen to task for these and similar comments.35

By the late 1930s, between the Legion of Decency in New York and Breen, the Church's delegate at the PCA in Hollywood, the Catholic Church controlled the content of American movies. Every script was submitted in advance, and if rejected, was rewritten to conform to Breen's requirements. In 1936, his office reviewed over 1,200 of them, and had more than 1,400 conferences with producers and directors to discuss rewrites.36 And if, after this laborious process, Legion of Decency headquarters in New York still objected to certain dialogue or scenes, Breen would force further changes. Thus in 1941 when the Legion disapproved a Greta Garbo comedy, Two-Faced Woman, because of its "un-Christian attitude toward marriage," and Cardinal Spellman pronounced the film "dangerous to public morality," MGM withdrew it, then added scenes to negate any hint of adultery.37

This isn't to say, of course, that Hollywood's output from 1934 until the gradual weakening of the Production Code in the 1950s consisted only of mom, apple pie, and moralizing. Producers were adept at suggesting events that couldn't be shown directly. Crime, evil, and fallen women were timeless themes; and as long as sin was punished in the end, a moralizing voiceover penned by Breen would usually suffice to qualify the film for PCA approval. In addition, rebel producers occasionally won small victories, such as David O. Selznick's famous refusal in 1939 to delete Rhett Butler's "frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn" from Gone With the Wind. But overall, the system was tightly controlled by the Hays Office, with the Legion often forcing even more changes after Breen had finished tinkering.

Foreign Films Threaten Church Control: Burstyn and Its Aftermath

In 1950, the Legion of Decency's annual report noted with dismay that foreign films were gaining popularity in America. And the Legion had judged 53% of them to be objectionable either "wholly or in part."38

Rossellini's Open City was typical. This 1945 classic depicts the Nazi occupation of Rome during the last months of the World War II. With its gritty realism, suggestions of lesbianism, horrifying scenes of Nazi torture, and powerful performance by Anna Magnani as Pina, a working class woman pregnant without benefit of marriage, who is savagely shot down in the film's most famous scene, Open City was a definite change from sanitized Hollywood fare. Based on the true story of an Italian priest who had been executed for helping the Resistance, Open City contained a hint of things to come when the evil Nazi commander asks the priest why he aids subversives and atheists, and the good father responds: "I am a Catholic priest and I believe that a man who fights for justice and liberty walks in the pathways of the Lord – and the pathways of the Lord are infinite."39

Open City grossed an amazing (for a foreign film) $3 million at the U.S. box office and was chosen Best Film of 1946 by the New York Film Critics.40 Audiences in New York and Los Angeles loved it. (We already know how Ingrid Bergman reacted.) But with the U.S. Catholic Church still angry at the adulterous pair, Rossellini could expect little mercy from Cardinal Spellman when his next expression of egalitarian spirituality opened in New York in December 1950.

Not all Catholics agreed with Spellman's attack on The Miracle. By mid-1951, a number of prominent Catholic intellectuals had protested the Church's position. As Otto Spaeth, Director of the American Federation of Arts, wrote: "There was indeed 'blasphemy'" in The Miracle, "but it was the blasphemy of the villagers, who stopped at nothing, not even the mock singing of a hymn to the Virgin, in their brutal badgering of the tragic woman."41

Similarly, Commonweal magazine editorialized: "sometimes it seems as if we American Catholics reduce the struggle for the hearts and minds of men to a contest between picket lines and pressure groups and in doing so slight the emphasis Catholic doctrine puts on free consent and reasoned morality." Two weeks later, an article by Notre Dame professor William Clancy in Commonweal reported that many prominent Catholics had found The Miracle "deeply moving" and "profoundly religious." Clancy essayed that Catholic campaigns against movies shocked "many loyal Catholics," who were "profoundly disturbed to see certain of our co-religionists embarked upon crusades which we feel can result only in great harm to the cause of religion, of art, and of intelligence."42

Even the idiosyncratically religious Rossellini wrote to Spellman, explaining his spiritual intentions in the film. "In The Miracle, men are still without pity because they have not gone back to God," the director explained;

But God is already present in the faith, however confused, of the poor persecuted woman and since God is forever, a human being suffers and is misunderstood. "The Miracle" occurs when, with the birth of the child, the poor demented woman regains sanity in her maternal love. They were my intentions and I hope that your Eminence will deign to consider them with paternal benevolence.43

As the case made its way through the courts, Catholic dissent intensified. Legal historian Alan Westin recounts that a group of Catholic writers, teachers, editors and lawyers decided that "more than individual statements would be necessary if the American public were to understand the division of Catholic opinion." They resolved to file a brief in the Supreme Court, "as Catholics, taking the opposite side."44

The Archdiocese thereupon summoned the rebels to a meeting where Monsignor John Middleton of the Chancery office assured them that he was deeply concerned, as they were, over such "extremist actions" by lay Catholic groups as picketing the Metropolitan Opera House over its portrayal of the Church in Verdi's opera Don Carlo, or threatening a TV station for showing Charlie Chaplin films. (Chaplin was a well-known leftist.) Middleton "went on to suggest that a better result might be achieved for both the Church and cultural freedom if the Committee did not file a brief in the Supreme Court. ... If the Committee withdrew, Monsignor Middleton suggested, the views of the Committee would be solicited by the Chancery in future censorship issues."45

So, the Committee of Catholics for Cultural Action folded its tents - "out of consideration," it explained, "for the larger ambiguities in the situation and out of filial deference" to Cardinal Spellman. The result was that, despite deep divisions on the issue among Christians, the only brief to the Supreme Court representing Christianity came from the State Catholic Committee, in support of banning The Miracle.46

As for the motion picture industry, it kept silent in the Supreme Court, as it had during the entire controversy. Spellman's biographer John Cooney writes,

The business, plagued with federal investigators scouring Hollywood for Communists, was running scared. Movie moguls didn't need to be singled out by anti-Communist Catholics. They bent over backward to appease modern inquisitors such as Spellman and the Legion of Decency.47

Cooney might have added that Hollywood had long ago made its peace with the Catholic hierarchy, and in fact used it to standardize film content and appease local censorship boards. Now, with Church and state combining to suppress a work that would plainly not have passed muster under the Production Code, the industry was stuck in a dilemma of its own creation.

Ephraim London faced several hurdles in the Miracle case, not least of which was the 1915 Supreme Court decision in Mutual Film, announcing that movies are not protected by the First Amendment. In a 1948 antitrust decision, Justice William O. Douglas had taken note of this anomaly, writing for the Court that "moving pictures, like newspapers and radio, are included in the press whose freedom is guaranteed by the First Amendment."48 But the New York Court of Appeals in its Miracle decision had dismissed this comment as mere dicta,49 so it was up to London to persuade the justices to overrule the Mutual Film case.

At oral argument in Burstyn v. Wilson on April 24, 1952, Chief Justice Fred Vinson queried the New York Solicitor General on this question, and got him to admit that, yes, movies do have First Amendment protection. But this didn't mean that all licensing requirements are unconstitutional. Ephraim London, arguing that "a movie cannot ever be censored in advance," got into an argument with Justice Sherman Minton on this point. "Not even for obscenity?" Minton asked. London said: "That's right."50 It was a position the Supreme Court would reject in its Burstyn decison the following month.

The Court's May 1952 decision in Burstyn v. Wilson did inter the archaic ruling in Mutual Film that cinema is only a business, not a form of expression. It did not follow, however, according to the Court, that all prior-restraint licensing is unconstitutional. Justice Clark's opinion left open the question whether states can impose prior censorship "under a clearly drawn statute designed and applied to prevent the showing of obscene films."51

Nine years later, the Court flatly rejected a constitutional challenge to prior-restraint film licensing – over an impassioned dissent by Chief Justice Earl Warren, which enumerated many examples of absurd and bigoted censorship decisions still being perpetrated by state and local licensing boards.52 But four years after that, the Court finally crippled prior-restraint censorship by invalidating Maryland's licensing scheme because it did not provide for prompt judicial review of determinations that a film was obscene.53 Stripped of their freewheeling power to ban films without first going to court, the licensing boards finally faded away.

The Demise of Church Control and the Problem of Church-State Separation

In writing about the Miracle case, Bosley Crowther, then film critic of The New York Times, suggested that the Church made a such a fuss over the limited-audience art film precisely because it represented a new breed of foreign movies that were not subject to the Church's control. Even though Burstyn as a legal matter involved only official government censorship, it weakened the industry's privately enforced Code by opening the U.S. market to foreign films that looked at life in all its "rawness and reality," and were not submitted in advance to Hollywood's censors.54

Critic Gilbert Seldes in The Nation magazine made another important point.55 As Quigley, Breen, and others had perceived, a private industry code, strictly enforced, is more effective than government censorship as a means of imposing religious dogma. It is secret, for one thing, operating at the pre-production stage. The audience never knows what has been trimmed, cut, revised, or never written. For another, it is uniform - not subject to hundreds of different licensing standards. Finally and most important, private censorship can be more sweeping in its demands, because it is not bound by constitutional due process or free-expression rules - in general, these only apply to the government - or by the command of church-state separation.

Hollywood nevertheless did finally get rid of the Production Code, in the 1960s. In its place, the MPAA's new head, Jack Valenti, created the vague and subjective rating system that we know today. Movie ratings are decided in secret, and are not without censorial effects. Producers negotiate with the ratings board and cut scenes or dialogue in order to achieve a desired classification. But there is no question that American cinema today is far freer than in the heyday of the Code, when Joe Breen's blue pencil and the Legion of Decency's ever-present boycott threat combined to assure that films adhered to Church doctrine.

Ironically, the boycott threat was never as potent as the Church pretended. As with birth control and other issues on which large numbers of Catholics follow their consciences, Black and other film historians have shown that millions of American Catholics "ignored the Legion's ratings and flocked to see films that were condemned."56 Had the producers held out against the Church's pressure in the 1930s, it is likely that many boycotts would not have materialized, and those that did would have been less impressive than the studios feared.

On the other hand, the producers - at least, those among them who truly opposed the Code - may have known this, but as scholars such as Stephen Vaughn have shown, it was the financial pressures from their bankers that proved decisive in establishing Father Lord's Code as the rule of law in Hollywood for more than 20 years.57

What does the Miracle case and the history of film censorship teach us - about religion, artistic freedom, and church-state separation in America? As many scholars have noted, the Establishment Clause is not just some anomaly sitting there at the beginning of the First Amendment. Freedom of speech and religion are intrinsically connected to, and dependent upon, church-state separation. When one church, or one religion with many sects but common doctrine, exercises political power, as Christianity does in America today, the freedoms of religious minorities – among them Jews, Muslims, Hindus, secular humanists, and nonbelievers – are threatened. Indeed, Christianity is threatened as well. The Establishment Clause was designed both to keep religion out of government affairs and to keep government out of religion.

This dual goal is deeply compromised today. Government-sponsored prayer breakfasts promote the dominant religion. Government funding, through vouchers, for parochial schools that are overwhelmingly Catholic, supports the religious indoctrination that is a fundamental aim of such schools, and diverts needed funds from secular public education. "Charitable choice" provisions in state and federal law enable government-funded Catholic hospitals to deny services to which they object - most notably contraceptive or abortion services - even where they are the only hospitals in the area serving low-income citizens, and where a pregnant woman's life or health is in danger.58

President Bush's 2001 executive order establishing the Office of Faith-Based Initiatives instructs federal agencies to "eliminate regulatory, contracting, and other programmatic obstacles" to the participation of faith-based organizations "in the provision of social services."59 These are code words for getting rid of the oversight that has traditionally sought, however imperfectly, to assure that government-funded services delivered by religious institutions do not proselytize. As Jewish, atheist, and church-state separation groups pointed out when Bush announced this remarkable initiative, it is virtually inevitable that social service programs run by churches will include religious messages.60

On the art scene too, censorship based on the doctrines of dominant religions continues to puzzle our political landscape. New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani's attempt in 1999 to defund the Brooklyn Museum and oust it from its long-established home because of a painting entitled "Holy Virgin Mary," which he thought blasphemous, was probably the best-publicized recent instance of a government official applying religious tests to art. Ten years earlier, it was Senator Jesse Helms excoriating the National Endowment for the Arts for allowing a museum that received an NEA grant to include Andres Serrano's large luminous photograph, Piss Christ, in a show of contemporary work. His efforts were more successful than Giuliani's: congressional threats to defund the NEA combined with new legislation requiring the agency to consider "respect for the diverse beliefs ... of the American public" in awarding grants,61 forced changes that now make it unlikely any work, artist, or show that uses imagery in ways likely to offend religious authorities will receive support.

Of course, the argument is made that this is not really censorship, only a prudent use of public funds. But, as the Supreme Court said in Burstyn, government "has no legitimate interest in protecting any or all religions from views distasteful to them." Arts funding decisions that are driven by fear of offending religious beliefs not only violate this principle but inevitably squelch expression disapproved by the dominant hierarchies of the dominant religion.

Outside the funding context as well, some Catholic groups are today, as they were in 1951, vociferous in urging censorship of art they consider sacrilegious. There are any number of colorful examples; I will describe just one. In early 2002, the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights protested an exhibit at a California museum because it included figurines by a Spanish artist in postures of defecation - among them, the pope and several nuns. These figurines are "part of Catholic Catalonian tradition that dates back to the 1800s," the museum explained, and symbolize the cycle of eating and fertilization.62 "'I know that American society is more strict with its religious ideas than we are in Catalonia,'" the Associated Press quoted one elderly collector as saying. But defecation, after all, "‘is natural. Even the king has to do it every day, or at least every other day.'"63

As the history of The Miracle case shows, our constitutional mandates of religious freedom and church-state separation have not necessarily led to toleration. Officials of the Catholic Church, and of some Protestant denominations, have propounded a narrow and reductive approach to art, thereby missing the nuance, ambiguity, or spiritual but unconventional exploration of religious experence in such works as The Miracle or Piss Christ. Yet their views do not always represent the range of opinion, and tolerance for artistic freedom, that exists among the members of their congregations.

Censorship history shows that powerful organized religious institutions can compromise artistic and intellectual freedom even without state involvement. It also shows that government officials are easily swayed by the dominant religions: it happened in 1951 with The Miracle, and it continues with parochial school vouchers, "charitable choice," and "faith-based initiatives." The Hollywood Production Code and the New York film licensing board may seem like amusing relics of a distant past, but their legacy is powerfully present in today's church-state dilemmas.

NOTES

* This article originated as a talk presented at the University of Virginia Forum for Contemporary Thought on October 28, 2002. It was revised in 2003 and later published as a chapter in Defending the First (J. Russomanno, ed.) (Lawrence Erlbaum, 2005). Thanks to William Barnett for research assistance.

1. Alan Westin, The Miracle Case: The Supreme Court and the Movies (University, Ala.: U. of Alabama Press, Inter-University Case Program, 1961), 10.

2. Alan Westin, The Miracle Case: The Supreme Court and the Movies (University, Ala.: U. of Alabama Press, Inter-University Case Program, 1961), 10; "Criticism of ‘The Miracle'" (an excerpt from the Osservatore Romano review), 53 Commonweal 592 (1951); Camille Cianfarra, "Vatican Views ‘Miracle' Row," New York Times, Feb. 11, 1951, §2, 4.

3. The Legion had been a powerful force in American film censorship since the 1930s, and hence assumed its ability to suppress movies it did not like. Alan Westin, The Miracle Case: The Supreme Court and the Movies (University, Ala.: U. of Alabama Press, Inter-University Case Program, 1961), 5-6; Richard Parke, "Rossellini Film Is Halted by City; ‘The Miracle' Held 'Blasphemous,'" New York Times, Dec. 24, 1950, 1; Richard Parke, "‘Miracle' Banned Throughout City," New York Times, Dec. 25, 1950, 21.

4. Ingrid Bergman, My Story (New York: Delacorte, 1972), 4.

5. The other two short films were Jean Renoir's A Day in the Country and Marcel Pagnol's Jofroi. The New York Board of Regents had earlier granted a license for The Miracle alone, without English subtitles. Bosley Crowther, "The Strange Case of ‘The Miracle,'" Atlantic Monthly, Apr. 1951, 36.

6. "McCaffrey, Warned of Injunction, Drops 'Miracle' Ban in 5 Minutes," New York Times, Dec. 30, 1950, 1; "Court, Disallowing ‘Miracle' Ban, Denies City Has Censorship Powers," New York Times, Jan. 5, 1951, 1; "Spellman Urges ‘Miracle' Boycott," New York Times, Jan. 8, 1951, 1; Alan Westin, The Miracle Case: The Supreme Court and the Movies (University, Ala.: U. of Alabama Press, Inter-University Case Program, 1961), 6-9.

7. John Cooney, The American Pope: The Life and Times of Francis Cardinal Spellman (New York: Times Books, 1984).

8. "Spellman Urges 'Miracle' Boycott," New York Times, Jan. 8, 1951, 1, 14 (quoting the entire statement); Alan Westin, The Miracle Case: The Supreme Court and the Movies (University, Ala.: U. of Alabama Press, Inter-University Case Program, 1961), 9; Bosley Crowther, "The Strange Case of ‘The Miracle,'" Atlantic Monthly, Apr. 1951, 37.

9. "'Miracle' Picketed By 1,000 Catholics," New York Times, Jan. 15, 1951; Garth Jowett, "'A Significant Medium for the Communication of Ideas': The Miracle Decision and the Decline of Motion Picture Censorship, 1952-1968," in Francis Couvares, ed., Movie Censorship and American Culture (Washington: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1996), 263; Alan Westin, The Miracle Case: The Supreme Court and the Movies (University, Ala.: U. of Alabama Press, Inter-University Case Program, 1961), 11; Bosley Crowther, "The Strange Case of 'The Miracle,'" Atlantic Monthly, Apr. 1951, 37.

10. "Text of Regents' Report Banning 'Miracle,'" New York Times, Feb. 17, 1951, 9; also quoted in Burstyn v. Wilson, 303 N.Y. 242, 257 (1951). See also Douglas Dales, "'Miracle' Banned by Regents' Board; Court Fight Pends," New York Times, Feb. 17, 1951, 1; Alan Westin, The Miracle Case: The Supreme Court and the Movies (University, Ala.: U. of Alabama Press, Inter-University Case Program, 1961), 14-15.

11. Burstyn v. Wilson, 303 N.Y. 242, 260-61 (1951).

12. Burstyn v. Wilson, 303 N.Y. at 258-59. Briefs supporting Burstyn were also filed by the New York Civil Liberties Committee, Artists' Equity, and the Metropolitan Committee for Religious Liberty. The New York State Catholic Welfare Committee filed a brief supporting the state. A few months earlier, the New York high court had rejected a challenge to state-supported released time from public schools for religious education. Zorach v. Clauson, 303 N.Y. 161 (1951), affirmed, 343 U.S. 306 (1952); see Alan Westin, The Miracle Case: The Supreme Court and the Movies (University, Ala.: U. of Alabama Press, Inter-University Case Program, 1961), 19.

13. Burstyn v. Wilson, 343 U.S. 495, 504-05 (1952).

14. Burstyn v. Wilson, 343 U.S. at 504-05.

15. The nickelodeons were an outgrowth of vaudeville, where filmed travelogues, news clips, comedies, and dramas were interspersed with live acts. Daniel Czitrom, "The Politics of Performance: Theater Licensing and the Origins of Movie Censorship in New York," in Francis Couvares, ed., Movie Censorship and American Culture (Washington: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1996), 20.

16. Daniel Czitrom, "The Politics of Performance: Theater Licensing and the Origins of Movie Censorship in New York," in Francis Couvares, ed., Movie Censorship and American Culture (Washington: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1996), 22, 31.

17. Gregory Black, Hollywood Censored: Morality Codes, Catholics, and the Movies (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge U. Press, 1994), 7, quoting Kevin Brownlow, Behind the Mask of Innocence (New York: Knopf, 1990), xv; Kay Solan, The Loud Silents: Origins of the Social Problem Film (Chicago: U. of Illinois Press, 1988), 3.

18. Garth Jowett, "'A Significant Medium for the Communication of Ideas': The Miracle Decision and the Decline of Motion Picture Censorship, 1952-1968," in Francis Couvares, ed., Movie Censorship and American Culture (Washington: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1996), 259. See also Gregory Black, The Catholic Crusade Against the Movies, 1940-1975 (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge U. Press, 1997), 6-7.

19. New York reformers established a nongovernmental Board of Motion Picture Censorship to which the industry agreed to submit films for review; but the board was unsure of its standards and, according to Black, "reluctant to censor." Its failure to suppress films dealing with prostitution, corruption, and other unseemly aspects of American life disappointed the censorship advocates, and resulted in more licensing laws. Gregory Black, Hollywood Censored: Morality Codes, Catholics, and the Movies (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge U. Press, 1994), 15; Gregory Black, The Catholic Crusade Against the Movies, 1940-1975 (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge U. Press, 1997), 7. See also Francis Couvares, "Hollywood, Main Street, and the Church: Trying to Censor the Movies Before the Production Code," in Francis Couvares, ed., Movie Censorship and American Culture (Washington: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1996), 131. Charlene Regester, "Black Films, White Censors," in Francis Couvares, ed., supra, 167, citing Garth Jowett, Film: The Democratic Art (Boston: Little Brown, 1976), 108-38, states that New York City enacted a municipal censorship law in 1906; Black states that Chicago was the first, in 1907.

20. Gregory Black, The Catholic Crusade Against the Movies, 1940-1975 (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge U. Press, 1997), 7; Charlene Regester, "Black Films, White Censors," in Francis Couvares, ed., Movie Censorship and American Culture (Washington: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1996), 167, citing Garth Jowett, Film: The Democratic Art (Boston: Little Brown, 1976), 108-38.

21. Burstyn v. Wilson, 278 A.D. 253, 258 (N.Y. S.Ct. 3rd Dept.), 343 U.S. at 497. The common goal of film licensing, according to Gregory Black, was "to eliminat[e] depictions of changing moral standards, limit[] scenes of crime ..., and avoid[] as much as possible any screen portrayal of civil strife, labor-management discord, or government corruption and injustice. The screen, these moral guardians held, was not a proper forum for discussion of delicate sexual issues or for social or political commentary." Gregory Black, The Catholic Crusade Against the Movies, 1940-1975 (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge U. Press, 1997), 7.

22. Mutual Film Corp. v. Industrial Comm'n of Ohio, 236 U.S 230, 242-44 (1915).

23. Garth Jowett, "'A Significant Medium for the Communication of Ideas': The Miracle Decision and the Decline of Motion Picture Censorship, 1952-1968," in Francis Couvares, ed., Movie Censorship and American Culture (Washington: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1996), 260. Much the same dynamic was at work in the development of obscenity laws, which provided the legal framework for literary and artistic censorship in England and America. See Marjorie Heins, Not in Front of the Children: "Indecency," Censorship, and the Innocence of Youth (New York, Hill & Wang, 2001), 23-36. The difference was that obscenity law, except as applied to movies, operated for the most part after the fact of publication; governments in the U.S. did not generally establish prior-restraint licensing boards for books, magazines, or art exhibits.

24. Times Film Corp. v. Chicago, 365 U.S. 43, 69-72 (1961) (Warren, C.J., with Black, Douglas, & Brennan, JJ., dissenting) (noting also that Memphis suppressed Curley "because it contained scenes of white and Negro children in school together," and The Southerner, a film about poor tenant farmers, because it reflected badly on the south); Jane & Allen Otten, "Hour of Decision? Supreme Court Petitioned on Film Censorship," New York Times, Oct. 15, 1950, §2, 5; Garth Jowett, "'A Significant Medium for the Communication of Ideas': The Miracle Decision and the Decline of Motion Picture Censorship, 1952-1968," in Francis Couvares, ed., Movie Censorship and American Culture (Washington: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1996), 261; Charlene Regester, "Black Films, White Censors," in Francis Couvares, ed., supra, 173-75.

25. Gregory Black, Hollywood Censored: Morality Codes, Catholics, and the Movies (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge U. Press, 1994), 34.

26. Gregory Black, Hollywood Censored: Morality Codes, Catholics, and the Movies (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge U. Press, 1994), 30.

27. Gregory Black, Hollywood Censored: Morality Codes, Catholics, and the Movies (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge U. Press, 1994), 31. See also Stephen Vaughn, "Morality and Entertainment: The Origins of the Motion Picture Code," Journal of American History, Vol. 77(1), 39-65 (June 1990); Garth Jowett, "'A Significant Medium for the Communication of Ideas': The Miracle Decision and the Decline of Motion Picture Censorship, 1952-1968," in Francis Couvares, ed., Movie Censorship and American Culture (Washington: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1996), 260-61; Alison Parker, "Mothering the Movies: Women Reformers and Popular Culture," in Couvares, supra, 73-90; Richard Maltby, "'To Prevent the Prevalent Type of Book': Censorship and Adaptation in Hollywood, 1924-34," in Couvares, supra, 97-121.

28. Stephen Vaughn, "Morality and Entertainment: The Origins of the Motion Picture Code," Journal of American History, Vol. 77(1), 44 (June 1990).

29. Gregory Black, Hollywood Censored: Morality Codes, Catholics, and the Movies (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge U. Press, 1994), 33-34.

30. Stephen Vaughn, "Morality and Entertainment: The Origins of the Motion Picture Code," Journal of American History, Vol. 77(1), 49-51 (June 1990); Gregory Black, Hollywood Censored: Morality Codes, Catholics, and the Movies (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge U. Press, 1994), 37.

31. See Appendix A, "Working Draft of the Lord-Quigley Code Proposal," in Gregory Black, Hollywood Censored: Morality Codes, Catholics, and the Movies (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge U. Press, 1994), 302; The 1930 Production Code, in Jon Lewis, Hollywood v. Hard Core (New York: NYU Press, 2000), 302-07; Leonard Leff & Jerrold Simmons, The Dame in the Kimono: Hollywood, Censorship, and the Production Code From the 1920s to the 1960s (New York: Grove Weidenfeld, 1990), 283 (describing various minor changes made by Hays in 1934 and by the MPAA in subsequent years, including the addition of "major sections on crime (1939), profanity (1939), and cruelty to animals (1940)").

32. However potent the studios might have found the Church's boycott threat, its influence with some of the bankers on whom Hollywood depended was even more persuasive. A.H. Giannini, head of the Bank of America and a loyal Catholic, made it clear to producers at a meeting in late 1933 that continued financing depended on serious enforcement of the Code. Chicago's Cardinal Mundelein and New York's Cardinal Patrick Hayes made use of their Wall Street connections to apply similar pressure. Mundelein's longtime friend and golf partner, Harold Stuart, was a principal in the firm of Halsey, Stuart, a major underwriter for Fox. As Stephen Vaughn writes, Cardinal Mundelein "knew exactly where to go to get the Church's message to the producers." Stephen Vaughn, "Financiers, Movie Producers, and the Church: Economic Origins of the Production Code," in Bruce Austin, ed., Current Research in Film: Audiences, Economics, and Law, Vol. 4 (Norwood, NJ: Ablex Publishing Corp., 1988), 213.

33. Gregory Black, The Catholic Crusade Against the Movies, 1940-1975 (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge U. Press, 1997), 20.

34. See Gregory Black, The Catholic Crusade Against the Movies, 1940-1975 (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge U. Press, 1997), 24; Gregory Black, Hollywood Censored: Morality Codes, Catholics, and the Movies (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge U. Press, 1994), 158-59; Francis Couvares, "Hollywood and the Culture Wars," American Quarterly, Vol. 50(1), 197 (Mar. 1998).

35. Gregory Black, The Catholic Crusade Against the Movies, 1940-1975 (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge U. Press, 1997), 20; Gregory Black, Hollywood Censored: Morality Codes, Catholics, and the Movies (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge U. Press, 1994), 70; Leonard Leff & Jerrold Simmons, The Dame in the Kimono: Hollywood, Censorship, and the Production Code From the 1920s to the 1960s (New York: Grove Weidenfeld, 1990), 33-34.

36.Gregory Black, Hollywood Censored: Morality Codes, Catholics, and the Movies (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge U. Press, 1994), 238-39.

37. Leonard Leff & Jerrold Simmons, The Dame in the Kimono: Hollywood, Censorship, and the Production Code From the 1920s to the 1960s (New York: Grove Weidenfeld, 1990), 120-21.

38. "Legion of Decency Lauds U.S. Movies," New York Times, Nov. 17, 1950, 33.

39. Quoted in Peter Brunette, Roberto Rossellini (Berkeley: U. of Cal. Press, 1987), 47.

40. Gregory Black, The Catholic Crusade Against the Movies, 1940-1975 (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge U. Press, 1997), 74. See also Peter Brunette, Roberto Rossellini (Berkeley: U. of Cal. Press, 1987), 41-60.

41. Otto Spaeth, "Fogged Screen," Magazine of Art, Feb. 1951, 44, quoted in Burstyn v. Wilson, 343 U.S. 495, 514-15 (1952) (Frankfurter, J., concurring).

42. "'The Miracle' and Related Matters," The Commonweal, Vol. 53, Mar. 2, 1951, 507; William Clancy, "The Catholic as Philistine," The Commonweal, Vol. 53, Mar. 16, 1951, 567. Clancy was fired by Notre Dame; he later became a priest, and for years "regaled listeners with his tale of colliding with Spellman." John Cooney, The American Pope: The Life and Times of Francis Cardinal Spellman (New York: Times Books, 1984), 45.

43. "Rossellini Appeals to Spellman on Film," New York Times, Jan. 13, 1951, 10.

44. Alan Westin, The Miracle Case: The Supreme Court and the Movies (University, Ala.: U. of Alabama Press, Inter-University Case Program, 1961), 23.

45. Alan Westin, The Miracle Case: The Supreme Court and the Movies (University, Ala.: U. of Alabama Press, Inter-University Case Program, 1961), 25.

46. Protestant groups did not get organized in time to file a brief in opposition to the ban. Alan Westin, The Miracle Case: The Supreme Court and the Movies (University, Ala.: U. of Alabama Press, Inter-University Case Program, 1961), 25.

47. John Cooney, The American Pope: The Life and Times of Francis Cardinal Spellman (New York: Times Books, 1984), 200.

48. United States v. Paramount Pictures, 334 U.S. 131, 166 (1948).

49. Burstyn v. Wilson, 303 N.Y. at 260-61.

50. Alan Westin, The Miracle Case: The Supreme Court and the Movies (University, Ala.: U. of Alabama Press, Inter-University Case Program, 1961), 25-29.

51. Burstyn v. Wilson, 343 U.S. 495, 505-06 (1952).

52. Times Film Corp. v. City of Chicago, 365 U.S. 43 (1961); id.,69-72 (Warren, C.J., with Black, Douglas, & Brennan, JJ., dissenting).

53. Freedman v. Maryland, 380 U.S. 51 (1965).

54. Bosley Crowther, "The Strange Case of 'The Miracle,'" Atlantic Monthly, Apr. 1951, 35.

55. Gilbert Seldes, "Pressures and Pictures: II," The Nation, Vol. 172, Feb. 10, 1951, 132.

56. Gregory Black, The Catholic Crusade Against the Movies, 1940-1975 (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge U. Press, 1997), 241.

57. Stephen Vaughn, "Morality and Entertainment: The Origins of the Motion Picture Code," Journal of American History, Vol. 77(1), 44 (June 1990); Stephen Vaughn, "Financiers, Movie Producers, and the Church: Economic Origins of the Production Code," in Bruce Austin, ed., Current Research in Film: Audiences, Economics, and Law, Vol. 4 (Norwood, NJ: Ablex Publishing Corp., 1988).

58. See Katha Pollitt, "Special Rights for the Godly?" The Nation, June 24, 2002, 10 (describing a California case in which a court found a Christian born-again nurse who was fired after refusing to provide emergency contraception at a public clinic had suffered a violation of her religious freedom); George Gund Foundation, Pro-Choice Resource Center, & Reproductive Freedom Project, ACLU, Conscientious Exemptions and Reproductive Rights (Aug. 2000).

59. "Executive Order - Establishment of White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives," White House Press Release, Jan. 29, 2001, usgovinfo.about.com/library/weekly/aa012901c.htm (accessed 10/7/03).

60. See, e.g., Elisabeth Bumiller, "Talk of Religion Provokes Amens as Well as Anxiety; Faith has become a central part of the administration," New York Times, April 22, 2002, A19; Americans United for Separation of Church & State, President Bush and "Faith-Based" Initiatives, Jan. 29, 2001, www.au.org/press/pr12601.htm (accessed 10/6/03); Thomas Edsall, "Jewish Leaders Criticize 1Faith-Based' Initiative," Washington Post, Feb. 27, 2001, A4; "More Media Stories Raise Questions About 'Faith Based' Partnerships," American Atheist, Oct. 24, 2000, www.atheists.org/flash.line/church26.htm (accessed 10/6/03).

61. National Endowment for the Arts v. Finley, 524 U.S. 569 (1998), upheld the "decency and respect" clause but noted that First Amendment free-expression problems would arise if the clause were applied to discriminate against particular political or religious views. Id. at 587.

62. John Glionna, "Catholics Slam Napa Art Exhibit," Los Angeles Times, Jan. 5, 2002, www.latimes.com/news/local/la-000001083jan05.story (accessed 1/7 /02).

63. National Coalition Against Censorship, "Catholic League Objects to Traditional Figures in Art Installation," Jan. 7, 2002, www.ncac.org/issues/antonimiralda.html (accessed 10/6/03).


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