‘God in the Classroom’

Monday, September 19, 2011

WASHINGTON — As more study about religions enters the curriculum, how do we ensure that teachers neither inculcate nor denigrate religion?

Join us at the Knight Conference Center at the Newseum, Tuesday, Nov. 1, at 6 p.m., for a lively examination of the challenges and pitfalls of discussing religion in the public school classroom. Wesley Theological Seminary is co-sponsoring the program.

The evening will open with the Washington, D.C., premiere of “In God We Teach,” a documentary by Vic Losick that tells the story of the conflict that erupts in a New Jersey community after a student secretly records his history teacher’s professions of faith.

After the film, Emile Lester will offer a “democratic approach” to inclusion of religion in the curriculum drawn from his provocative new book Teaching about Religions. A reception will follow.

The event is open to the public. To RSVP, please contact Ashlie Hampton at ahampton@freedomforum.org or 202/292-6288.

Religious Freedom Education Project at the Newseum

The Religious Freedom Education Project at the Newseum is the only nonpartisan initiative in Washington, D.C., focused on educating the American public about the religious-liberty principles of the First Amendment.

In 2010, the First Amendment Center launched a new approach in its long-time work on religious freedom. In its first two years, the project has sponsored public programs at the Newseum, developed partnerships with national and international organizations, and convened religious and civil liberties groups to address religious-liberty issues of shared concern.

The initiatives of the project, directed by Charles C. Haynes, senior scholar at the First Amendment Center, include:

  • Working with religious, political and academic leaders to educate the public on the meaning and significance of religious liberty at home and abroad.
  • Sponsoring public programs at the Newseum focused on the critical religious-freedom issues in the United States and the world.
  • Advising Face to Faith, an innovative schools program sponsored by the Tony Blair Faith Foundation that enables students across the globe to learn from, with and about one another.
  • Developing consensus guidelines on religious-liberty issues to help Americans and people of other nations address differences and avoid conflict by working toward a common vision of the common good.
  • Assisting local communities and public schools in addressing controversies and divisions involving religious and ideological differences, with the aim of developing a shared understanding of the role of religion in public life.