Questions about church and state are hardly easy to answer, and they affect us all, whether we realize it or not.
Can lawmakers pray before beginning legislative sessions? Should taxpayer money support faith-based social services programs? Should there be limits to ways schoolchildren can express themselves religiously during the school day?
And what can we expect in the years ahead from the Supreme Court on the issue?
West Virginia Universitys College of Law on Thursday and Friday (April 12-13) is hosting some of the nations preeminent scholars of law and religion who will take a modern-day look at the Religion Clauses of the Constitution which state,Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.
The American Constitution Society for Law and Policy is co-sponsoring the symposium.
This is a prime chance for reporters and videographers to capture spirited discourse on church and state from top thinkers like Douglas Laycock of the University of Michigan, a scholar and lawyer who has argued several religious liberty cases before the Supreme Court; and Columbia law professor Kent Greenawalt, who has penned numerous books on law and religion, including,Does God Belong in Public Schools?
The symposium begins at 4 p.m. Thursday and all panels will take place in the Lugar Courtroom at the College of Law. The College will provide a MULT box for the benefit of broadcast reporters.
Parking is free in all law school lots during both days of the symposium.
A dinner and keynote address by Professor Laycock will be from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Thursday at the law school.
Fridays panels will run from 8:30 a.m.-3:45 p.m. in the Lugar Courtroom.
Religious identity and expression are critically important in the lives of so many Americans,College of Law Dean John W. Fisher II said.Promoting discussion and understanding of these issues is one of the most important things we can do.