Charles C. Haynes

Dr. Charles C. Haynes is director of the Religious Freedom Education Project at the Newseum and a senior scholar at the First Amendment Center. He writes and speaks extensively on religious liberty and religion in American public life.

Haynes is best known for his work on First Amendment issues in public schools. Over the past two decades, he has been the principal organizer and drafter of consensus guidelines on religious liberty in schools, endorsed by a broad range of religious and educational organizations. In January 2000, three of these guides were distributed by the U.S. Department of Education to every public school in the nation. (See also A Parent's Guide to Religion in the Public Schools, A Teacher's Guide to Religion in the Public Schools and Public Schools & Religious Communities.)

Haynes is the author or co-author of six books, including First Freedoms: A Documentary History of First Amendment Rights in America (2006) and Religion in American Public Life. His column, Inside the First Amendment, appears in newspapers nationwide.

He is a founding board member of the Character Education Partnership and serves on the steering committee of the Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools and the American Bar Association Advisory Commission on Public Education. He chairs the Committee on Religious Liberty of the National Council of Churches.

Widely quoted in news magazines and major newspapers, Haynes is also a frequent guest on television and radio. He has been profiled in The Wall Street Journal and on ABC’s "Evening News." In 2008 he received the Virginia First Freedom Award from the Council for America’s First Freedom.

Haynes holds a master’s degree from Harvard Divinity School and a doctorate from Emory University.

Posts by Charles C. Haynes:

Gay marriage, religious freedom and the need for civil dialogue

The issue is fast becoming a shouting match where any concern for the common good is lost in the din of charge and countercharge.

With the stroke of a pen, Ariz. governor changes everything

The sad lesson of the battle over S.B. 1062 is that in the current climate of name-calling and fear-mongering, few people on either side are willing to work together to uphold both nondiscrimination and religious freedom.

Push for ‘school prayer’ is about power, not prayer

Despite what you hear, prayer has never been banned in school; what’s banned is government-forced prayer.

Vladimir Putin’s Potemkin village

Putin’s “new Russia” looks very much like the old Russia that denied freedom of expression, religious liberty and other human rights.

Do corporations have religious freedom?

When people of faith choose to live out that faith in the world of business, they should not be put to what the Supreme Court once called ‘the cruel choice’ between following their God and making a profit.

In 2014, free the faithful

Christian pastor Saeed Abedini, imprisoned in Iran, is just one of thousands imprisoned for their different faiths around the world.

From a 5th-grader, uncomfortable truth about religious conflict

If schools don’t teach young kids (or allow them to discuss) the truth about religious strife in history, then what exactly do they teach?

Don’t worry, Santa, the ‘war on Christmas’ isn’t real

Belief in Santa perpetuates a spirit of joy and goodwill. But the “war on Christmas” narrative does little more than stir up anger and ill will.

On Thanksgivukkah, give thanks for religious freedom

Both Hanukkah and Thanksgiving are rooted in the struggle for religious liberty, but neither marks a lasting triumph.

On college campuses, zoning out free speech

How freedom of speech is under assault on many American college and university campuses.

When God-talk by kids is protected speech

Fortunately, a growing number of schools are getting the message that the First Amendment doesn’t mandate a religion-free zone in public schools.

To stop the madness, put a face to faith

Success of Face to Faith program in schools worldwide reminds us that In a world torn by sectarian violence and hate, we can – and must – do much more to help young people experience our common humanity.

By removing Islam display, Kansas school surrenders to ignorance

Bulletin-board posting was part of what public schools are supposed to be doing in teaching about Islam, Christianity and other faiths in ways that are constitutionally and academically sound.

Dispelling the myth of a ‘Christian nation’

The Framers of our Constitution knew the time had come to break from the precedents of history and bar any religious group from ever imposing itself on the nation.

For most Americans, gay equality trumps religious objections

Advocates for marriage equality draw the line on religious freedom when religious groups take government funds.

« Older Entries |