Think of the following choices as being like those on a Chinese restaurant menu, under the "family dinners" they used to have:


Column A (Free Exercise):

  1. Government will let you choose your religion.
  2. Government will not interfere with your private religious practices.
  3. Government will not unfairly deprive you of resources by which you could practice your religion.


Column B (Non-Establishment):

  1. Government will not subsidize any religious practice, even in kind, as by providing facilities.
  2. Government will not attempt to distinguish what constitutes your faith, nor determine what a "real" religion is.
  3. Law will neither favor one belief system over another, including disbelief, nor favor religion over non-religion or vice versa.


Column C (extensive Police Power):

  1. There will be taxes, and the money will be spent somehow.
  2. The state will own, maintain, and operate facilities for various purposes not related to public order (schools, parks, museums, broadcasting stations), and others larger and with more staff than necessary for public order.
  3. Legislation & regulations won't always let you do what you want with the bodies & property of consenting persons, including yourself, and those edicts will often be very particular.


You can have anything you want from Column A and from Column B, or anthing you want from Column B and Column C, or anything you want from Columns A and C; but you can't order from all 3 columns at the same time.