People and organizations continue to mix church and state…and it makes the news. We continue to debate about what is the proper place to display religious belief. How does one allow free expression without displacing the beliefs of others? Many Americans remain serious about their religion. Thus it is no surprise that one’s belief would influence daily life. But this freedom to practice faith comes into conflict when considering American public life. The Establishment Clause reminds us that the First Amendment protects both sides of an issue. The case involving John Freshwater, a Christian schoolteacher, continues. After Freshwater allegedly conducted a classroom experiment on a student (burning a cross onto his arm) the student’s family filed a suit against the teacher. Although a settlement was reached with the school district, the case continues as Freshwater and his advocates argue that the issue was not about his “experiment,” but rather an effort to silence his opposition to evolution as a viable scientific theory and his display of Christian belief in the classroom. This case is yet another example of the tensions we all experience in a pluralistic society and the various ways the First Amendment can be interpreted. What is most astounding is that among the teachers interviewed, one was simply unaware of the Establishment Clause. Read the full story here.
Muslim-Majority States and Human Rights: From the UDHR to Durban Conference By Ziya Meral , University of Cambridge (Vol. 4, September 2009) Religion Compass
Politics and Religion in Japan By Roy Starrs , University of Otago
(Vol. 4, June 2009) Religion Compass
Creationism By Arthur McCalla , Mount Saint Vincent University (Vol. 2, August 2007) Religion Compass
Teaching & Learning Guide for: Creationism By Arthur McCalla, Mount Saint Vincent University (October 2008) Religion Compass
Teaching & Learning Guide for: Can a Darwinian Be a Christian? By Gregory W. Dawes, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand (April 2008) Religion Compass
“Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom.” A Dictionary of American History. PURVIS, THOMAS L. Blackwell Publishing, 1997. Blackwell Reference Online.