Please join the Baltimore Coalition of Reason and the Maryland Chapter of Americans United for a screening of the film "The Lord is Not on Trial Here Today" and a potluck dinner to celebrate World Humanist Day.
When: Saturday, June 21, 6:30 pm potluck dinner, 7:30 pm lecture (doors open at 6:15) Where: Baltimore Ethical Society, 306 W. Franklin St.
Sign up for the potluck dinner here:
If you would like to contribute towards pizza instead of bringing a dish, please sign up for that on the form. We'll order based on sign-ups for pizza.
THE REAL STORY OF HOW SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS BECAME PART OF AMERICAN LAW – AND THE COURAGEOUS WOMAN WHO MADE IT HAPPEN
She was called "that awful woman" by her neighbors, and “that atheist mother” by newspapers across the country. Her friends stopped returning phone calls rather than risk speaking with her. She was branded a communist, and the Illinois State Legislature nearly outlawed her and her husband from ever working at the state university again. She received up to 200 letters a day, some of the writers claiming they would pray for her; many wishing for much worse.
All because, in 1945, Vashti McCollum would file a historic lawsuit that would forever change the relationship between religion and public school in America – and turn this young housewife from central Illinois into an unlikely champion of the separation of church and state.
The Lord Is Not On Trial Here Today is a Peabody Award-winning documentary that tells the compelling personal story of the late Vashti McCollum, and how her efforts to protect her ten year-old son led to one of the most important and landmark First Amendment cases in U.S. Supreme Court history - the case that established the separation of church and state in public schools. The case is little-known by the contemporary American public, yet the McCollum decision continues to have important ramifications for current conflicts over the role of religion in public institutions - from displays of the Ten Commandments in government buildings to student-led prayers at public school graduation ceremonies.
The film recounts what Vashti McCollum later described as "three years of headlines, headaches, and hatred," and the dramatic legal maneuverings that led to a decision that shocked the nation and made the McCollums a household name. "Beautifully researched" according to the Peabody Awards, perhaps one reviewer described it best: "The Lord Is Not On Trial Here Today (tells) a little-known story of a woman, a court case, and a movement that changed American society forever."
The Lord Is Not On Trial Here Today is written, produced, and directed by Jay Rosenstein. Narration by former M*A*S*H TV actor David Ogden Stiers. Major funding by the Independent Television Service; the Office of the Chancellor, University of Illinois, Urbana; the Illinois Humanities Council.