March 2018 Church & State - March 2018

Staff Members And Activists Spread The Word About Separation

  Staff Members And Activists Spread The Word About Separation

AU staff members and chapter activists remain busy promoting church-state separation. Here’s some information about recent activities:

Eric Rothschild, senior litigation counsel, spoke at Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania Feb. 15 on the topic of creationism. His speech was titled “The Biology Class You Wish You Could Have Taken: Evolution and Creationism on Trial in Dover, Pennsylvania.”

Rothschild was in private practice in 2005 with the firm Pepper Hamilton when he assisted Americans Uni­ted, the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Center for Science Education in a successful court challenge to the teaching of intelligent design creationism in Dover, Pa., public schools.

Bill Mefford, AU’s faith outreach specialist, traveled to Orlando, Fla., in late January to meet with AU activists who are working to oppose a possible change to the Florida Constitution that could result in removing the section of that document that bars tax funding of religious groups.

Every 20 years, a Constitutional Revision Commission (CRC) meets and makes suggestions for changes to the state constitution. The CRC is meeting now, and its suggestions will be voted on by the commission in May and then put forward for Florida voters in November. One of the proposals the CRC is considering would gut the state’s no-aid provision.

On Feb. 13, Mefford hosted a conference call for Florida residents who want to work to ensure that the no-aid clause remains intact.

Also in late January, AU’s Triad Chapter in North Carolina hosted Ronda J. Mays, who spoke on the topic “The Crisis in Our Public Schools.” Mays is the president of the Forsyth County Association of Educators.    

On Feb. 1, AU’s New Mexico Chap­­ter hosted an event with a representative of Compassion and Choices. The talk focused on medical aid to the dying.

The Orange County Chapter of Americans United in California hos­t­ed Peter Levi of the Anti-Defamation League Feb. 17. Levi offered a talk titled, “The Need to Secure Justice and Fair Treatment for All.” 

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