Show 284: Church & State in Kearny, New Jersey; The Saga Continues…

Call-In Special: Church & State in Kearny, New Jersey; The Saga Continues…

Audio here!

Matthew LaClair will be conducting a special call-in program on a topic which he was first introduced to ETFF’s audiences as a guest speaker on.  Matt will be updating and discussing the latest chapter in the ongoing saga regarding his former U.S. History Public High School teacher who, back in 2006 in Kearny, NJ, he recorded and challenged for preaching religion during class.  That incident garnered worldwide attention, and was reported on in the New York Times.

This time, the teacher, David Paszkiewicz – who is also the adviser of a Christian Club in the school – is taking the club to the Creation Museum in Kentucky this weekend. This field trip was initially supposed to occur in part during school hours using taxpayer money with the educational rationale being to expose students to the “science behind creationism.”

Matthew will discuss his actions this past week, and talk about what can be done about this breach of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. What do YOU think about this issue?  Should religious clubs in public schools be allowed to use taxpayer money to promote something that directly opposes the educational curriculum?  Should this teacher be appeased or admired?  Or is this yet another way the religious right uses back door tactics to turn American schools into mini-theocracies, and thus teachers like Paszkiewicz be removed from public service?  Call Matt to chat abut these questions Sunday at 212-209-2900!

Show 276: Ellery Schempp

“Upholding the Separation of Church and State” w/ Special Guest Ellery Schempp

Audio here!

One of the most important topics for secularists and humanists is the separation of church and state. But it is important for all Americans because it prevents any one particular religion from taking control of the country. As we have seen however, church and state is not always kept separate. Luckily, we have individuals such as Ellery Schempp to defend the Establishment Claus of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Tonight, ETFF’s new edition, Matthew LaClair, will be interviewing Dr. Schempp, who was the primary student involved in the landmark Supreme Court case Abington School District v. Schempp in 1963 which declared that forced Bible reading in public schools was unconstitutional. Dr. Schempp, a physicist by trade, is also subject of the book, Ellery’s Protest: How One Young Man Defied Tradition and Sparked the Battle over School Prayer, by Stephen D. Solomon.