Sikhs, Turbans, and 9/11

WEB ARTICLE & DISCUSSION QUESTIONS This article based on material from the Seattle Times show many examples of different types of turbans worn by various ethnic groups in the US. Students are asked to discuss and suggest ways to balance religious liberty and security issues that result from head coverings in schools and other parts of society. MS - HS

Justice as Fairness: John Rawls and His Theory of Justice

WEB LESSON Rawls called his concept of social justice "Justice as Fairness." It consists of two principles. Since he first published A Theory of Justice, he changed the wording of these principles several times. He published his last version in 2001. In this Bill of Rights in Action article and activity from Constitutional Rights Foundation, student groups evaluate one of the proposals based on John Rawls' Justice as Fairness theory. They answer the following questions: 1. Does the proposal pass or fail John Rawls' two principles of Justice as Fairness? Why? 2. Do you agree or disagree with the proposal? Why?

Stem-Cell Research The Promise and the Pitfalls

WEB LESSON Stem-cell research promises someday to develop cures for currently incurable medical conditions. Does this noble goal justify research that involves destroying human embryos? Student groups to discuss U.S. policy options on embryonic stem-cell research. After discussion, each group should choose one of the policy options and prepare a defense of it based on information from the article. Each group should finally present its policy choice and defense to the rest of the class.

Allegheny County v. ACLU (1989)

WEB LESSON Twenty years ago, the Court decided the First Amendment case of Allegheny County v. ACLU (1989), holding (5-4) that a creche with the words "Gloria in Excelsis Deo" (Glory to God in the highest) displayed on the grand staircase of the county courthouse violated the First Amendment's Establishment Clause. In the same case, six justices held that a joint Menorah-Christmas tree display outside the city-county building did not violate the Establishment Clause. This Landmark Supreme Court Cases and the Constitution eLesson encourages students to analyze the facts and reasoning in this decision.MS-HS

"Vote or Veto" How Does Religion Effect Candidates and Voters?"

WEB LESSON In this Frontline PBS lesson,students learn about the constitutionality of religious tests for office, consider if the electorate impose an "unofficial" religious requirement to hold office, and explore the role of religion in presidential elections. Lastly they valuate their own attitudes concerning the role of religion in U.S. elections.

The School Holiday Calendar

WEB LESSON Muslims and other religious minorities in New Yorkers are asking whether or not Muslim holidays should be school holidays, as some Christian and Jewish holidays are. This question is relevant in many cities, districts and states. Using a Washington Post article as the base source of information, these activities ask students to engage with the question and think critically about best actions to take.

Prayer and Government Meetings and the First Amendment

WEB RESOURCE & LESSON This third article in CRF's Bill of Rights in Action from Winter 2017 addresses the Establishment Clause as it relates to prayer a public meetings. Students read an article about a case, the Town of Greece (New York)v Galloway, charging that the opening town Board Meetings with prayer violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. The case was decided in 2014 by the Supreme Court. Students then apply the opinions in this case and a couple of other religious liberty cases in a moot court activity.

How the First State Constitutions Helped Build the U.S. Constitution

WEB RESOURCE & LESSON Scroll to the 3rd article. This CRF Bill of Rights in Action article and lesson provides background to students on how early state constitutions became the ideas and processes for creating the U.S. Constitution. The lesson deals with the five states that included a religious test as part of their constitutions and how and why this differs from the U.S. Constitution.

The Free Exercise of Religion in America

WEB LESSON When, if ever, may the government limit freedom of religion? The Supreme Court and Congress have grappled with this question multiple times. The phrases establishment of religion and free exercise of religion mean different things. There have been many disagreements about their meaning. To work through this issue, the Court has come up with tests to decide if a government law or a religious practice is constitutional. After reading about several tests that have been developed and later challenged, students attempt to answer the question "What Should the Test Be?" This is a close-reading activity on the Free Exercise Clause.