What is the (No) Establishment Clause?

WEB LESSON This Education for Freedom lesson may be implemented in whole or part. In a civics class that has full grounding in the First Amendment, students will benefit from applying constitutional law to several examples of local law and policy. MS - HS

Blasphemy! Salman Rushdie and Freedom of Expression

WEB LESSON Most Americans believe people should have the right to believe or disbelieve in any religion and should have the right to express their beliefs or disbeliefs. But prosecutions for blasphemy are not unknown in America history. Both the Virginia and Massachusetts Bay colonies passed laws providing the death penalty for blasphemy. But the few cases prosecuted rarely resulted in more than whipping or banishment. Even these cases had more to do with religious and political dissent than with blasphemy. Some argue that the current effort to protect people from harassment and bullying is very similar to anti-blasphemy laws. Students engage in an open-ended lesson to evaluate the merits of this idea.