Separation of Church and State: A First Amendment Primer
Separation: Good for Government, Good for Religion
Violations of the Separation of Church and State
Public Schools: Teaching Democracy, Not Dogma
Violations of Church-State Separation in Our Public Schools
What You Can Do


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Separation of Church and State:
A First Amendment Primer
Violations of Church-State Separation in Our Public Schools

Blatant violations of church-state separation continue to take place in our public schools.  Among the more recent such violations have been the following:

  • In Alabama, a family of Jewish children was repeatedly harassed after complaining about the promotion of Christian beliefs in their public schools. One of the students was forced to write an essay on "Why Jesus Loves Me." At a mandatory school assembly, a Christian minister condemned to hell all people who did not believe in Jesus Christ.
  • Elsewhere in Alabama, officials in the DeKalb County school system blatantly disobeyed a district court ruling that forbade religious activity in school such as the broadcast of Christian prayers over the school public address system and the distribution of Gideon Bibles on school property. The court has now been forced to issue an injunction to compel the schools to abide by its earlier ruling.
  • A Jewish student at a public school in Utah was required to sing religious songs and participate in Mormon religious worship activities as part of a choir class. After she voiced objections to these practices, the student was humiliated in class by the teacher and became the target of anti-Semitic harassment by her classmates.
  • Some otherwise well-intentioned advocates for school reform are promoting initiatives that would channel public funds to schools that engage in religious indoctrination. In their various forms -- "vouchers," "school choice," "hope and opportunity scholarships" -- these programs would force Americans to do something contrary to our very notion of democracy: to pay taxes to support the propagation of religious dogma.


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