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March 7

posted Mar 7, 2013, 6:03 AM by Peter Knowles   [ updated Mar 8, 2013, 6:55 AM ]
Day 28--

Today we continue our investigation of the religious freedoms contained in the First Amendment:
Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion, or the free exercise thereof....
What we know so far:
The Establishment Clause (Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion) means the government cannot create, institute, favor, encourage (pick your ownsynonym) a religion, and
The Free Exercise Clause (Congress shall make no law respecting exercise thereof) means the government cannot ban, bar, obstruct, stop, prevent (pick your ownsynonym) a person's ability to practice the religion of their choice.
As the government tries to maintain a middle ground between the two clauses, a sometimes difficult balancing act occurs. 
The Wall Between Church and State is a shifting, hard-to-define ideal, that is sometimes crossed when government acts.
The Lemon Test (494) is often used to determine whether government action has crossed the line. 

But what does all this mean in practical terms? When it comes down to it, what can and can't the government do when it comes to public policies regarding religion?

In today's activity, you and a partner will be assigned a particular topic where that division has been particularly tough to define. One of you should open a document called Religious Libertiesmake a copy, then share the copy with your partner so you can work together on the assignment, using a single document. Follow the instructions on each slide (instructions are in red text; erase them after you do them) to complete the assignment. The resources below will help you complete the assignment. 

Establishment Clause
  1. School Prayer (491-492)
  2. Religious Clubs and Groups (492)
  3. Teaching Evolution in Schools (492)
  4. Legislative Prayer / Chaplains (493) 
  5. Religious Holidays / Seasonal Displays (492-493)
  6. Graduation Ceremonies (491)
Free Exercise Clause

3. Freedom of Speech & Press (19.3)



Level 1a) Libel

1b) Slander

1c) Obscenity

1d) Prior restraint

1e) symbolic speech

Level 2a) What kinds of expression are most in need of protection under the 1st Amendment (499)

2b) Why has the Supreme Court allowed greater restrictions on broadcast media (television and radio) than it has against newspapers, movies, or cable? (503)

2c) What limits has the Supreme Court placed on symbolic speech? (504)