Separation of Church & State

It's time we got into some more religious topics! More details to follow, but this one will be on the separation of church & state. If you have suggested readings or websites, post them in the comments.


A good current topic to focus our discussion on: the recently tabled 'conscience exemption' to otherwise mandatorily covered health care under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.


Max also came up with some other great resources:

A blog on developments/news related to the religion clauses:  This is much more about current events than general information. I haven't been keeping up with it lately, but it was recommended by my above-mentioned professors and when I read it in school it was pretty good. Given that this has been in the news lately because of Santorum's comments, JFK's speech on the Houston Ministerial Association: The original source for the phrase "separation of church and state," Thomas Jefferson's letter to the Danbury Baptists:,_1802


more from Max:

This site has a pretty good overview of the state of the law on various issues concerning religious freedom:  It also has good explanations of the judicial interpretations  of both the Establishment Clause:  and the Free Exercise Clause:  .  At the first link, they also have subcategories within each of the Clauses and a section on religion in public schools.


an analysis of public opinion on 'Conscience Exemption' from the Pew Forum:  



Our group is focused on learning more than honing debating skills. The goal is to hear viewpoints you never would have been exposed to in your normal circles, and to hopefully get a little deeper than the sound bytes we hear on the news.  Do feel free to play devil's advocate and argue the other side.


Note: a lot of us eat dinner during the meetup, feel free to do so as well. This also makes the venue happier.


There's an optional $2 fee for this meetup. This helps cover the $180 annual meetup cost.


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