Dear Americans United for Separation of Church and State,
My recent interest in why religion in any form in banned from publics school has led me to find a few articles in which you are defending people who have been wrongfully forces to listen to some kind of sermon, like in the case of Matthew LaClair. Robert Boston makes many valid points in that article. Public school is not a place where religion of any kind should be forced down the students’ throat. On the other hand a person religious belief should not have to be turned off once they hit the school’s doors either. These articles have shed some new light on this question for me.
My understanding of the separation of church and state is this; it was started to keep the government from forcing one religion on everyone. The United States of America wanted people to worship freely. The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution says: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion; or prohibiting the free exercise thereof….” (Legal Information Institute). The U.S. Supreme Court has interpreted this clause to mean that religion and government must stay separate for the benefit of both. The government holds no religious viewpoint and leaves all decisions about faith and religious practice to its citizens. I also understand that what Americans United for the Separation of Church and state stand for. The group was formed to insure that church and state stay separate. In the case of LaClair I understand why you would want to sue the school and the teacher. Mr. Paszkiewicz was way out of line for stating things like “If you reject his gift of salvation, then you know where you belong,” (There Should Not Be Prayer and Bible Study in Public Schools) he makes it hard for other teachers or coach who are religious.
On your website in the Why We Care section it states” AU believes your right to religious liberty is not secure when the government presumes to promote religion over...
Cited: Americans United. "Out-of-Court Victories.” Americans United. Web. 21 Mar. 2012
Americans United. "Why We Care”. Americans United. Web. 21 Mar. 2012
Boston, Rob. "Faith and freedom: what 's conservative about school prayer?" The Humanist May-June 2009: 33+. Gale Opposing Viewpoints In Context. Web. 20 Mar. 2012.
Boston, Rob. "There Should Not Be Prayer and Bible Study in Public Schools." Atheism. Ed. Beth Rosenthal. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2009. Opposing Viewpoints. Rpt. from "Putting an End to 'Teacher-Preachers ' in Public Schools." The Humanist 67 (May-June 2007): 38. Gale Opposing Viewpoints In Context. Web. 20 Mar. 2012.
Prothero, Stephen. "There Should Be Prayer and Bible Study in Public Schools." Atheism. Ed. Beth Rosenthal. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2009. Opposing Viewpoints. Rpt. from "Should the Bible Be Taught in Public Schools? (Interview with Stephen Prothero)." Beliefnet.com. 2007. Gale Opposing Viewpoints In Context. Web. 20 Mar. 2012.
Schlafly, Phyllis. "Public Schools Indoctrinate Students and Don 't Reflect the Majority 's Values." Should Character be Taught in School? Ed. Noël Merino. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2010. At Issue. Rpt. from "Like It or Not, Public Schools Define American Culture." Townhall.com. 2006. Gale Opposing Viewpoints In Context. Web. 20 Mar. 2012
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