The ACLU Freedom Files: Religious Freedom The right of every American to practice his or her own religion, or no religion at all, is among the most fundamental of freedoms guaranteed by the Bill of Rights. But while the United States is home to more than 1,500 different faiths and some 360,000 houses of worship, religious freedom faces threats on many fronts. This episode of The ACLU Freedom Files will introduce you to people who fought back challenges to this essential civil liberty. Thoughts Policed You will meet Abbey Moler, a high school valedictorian who was asked to include some words of wisdom in her yearbook and selected a Bible verse. When the yearbook was published, her choice was omitted. Youll hear about how she successfully took on the school district, leading to a settlement that included the training of her school staff on issues of religious freedom. Threats to Traditions Billy Warsoldier, a Native American in prison for a DUI, was punished severely for refusing to cut his hair, which would have violated his religious tradition. You will learn about how he was denied visitation rights and kept in jail beyond his original sentence for practicing his faith, and how he fought the order and won. Designs on Education Youll go to the front lines of one of the most heated controversies in recent history and hear from parents and teachers who were part of a lawsuit to keep intelligent design out of the classroom, arguing that it is neither science nor religion. "Is This America?" Joann Bell, a devout Christian, saw her family terrorized and her home firebombed because she didn't want one religion favored over another. The trouble started when her son was coerced to attend a prayer meeting at school, and Ms. Bell sued the school board. Spread the Word Become part of the movement to protect civil liberties! Join millions of viewers who are watching The ACLU Freedom Files. To help get the message out and receive a free DVD, join the Freedom Files Producers Club: All you have to do is organize a screening or spread the word about the programs via email or the Web.
Mar 12, 2006, 21:03:14
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