Separation of Church and State -v- Public Library?

An author will give a reading from his recently published book about a specific church and their religion. Is this a violation of the Separation of Church and State law, since it is at a Public Library?

If not, must they give equal time to someone to rebut his slanderous opinions of the church and religion?

What would stop the local Library "event planner" to push their own personal agenda by only having talks against a certain religion and church?


P.S. The book is called "The Religion (and Church) of Atheism.

9 Answers

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    First of all, there is no LAW governing the separation of church and state. We were founded on a basis of freedom OF religion, not freedom FROM religion.

    As long as the library does not disallow another religion from doing the same thing because of what religion it is, there is no violation.

    The term "Separation of church and state" came about in a letter from Thomas Jefferson to a pastor in South Carolina who was concerned that the new federal government would come along and force them to be Episcopal, like in England. Jefferson was describing how the government was planning to stay out of a church's right to practice how they saw fit. It was NEVER intended to mean the removal of all things religious from the public square.

  • Mutt
    Lv 7
    9 years ago

    If there is an opposition group to that author's religion (and legally speaking, atheism is a religion), they have every right to put on a book reading at that library of a book that they wrote. And I'm sure the library would be more than happy to let them, assuming the reading is not too offensive.

    And what's to stop the "event planner"' from pushing their own agenda? His/her supervisors. If they refuse an author of a book on the opposing side of the issue from giving a reading, that author has every right to go to the "planner's" supervisor, and maybe even take it to the courts.

  • 9 years ago

    Please re-read the 1st Amendment. It says nothing about Separation of church and state. Is says "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion."

    In other words, the federal government will not establish a religion.

    The 1st Amendment most certainly does not say "All references to God and religion shall be expunged from all government writings and property."

    "Separation of Church and State" is a phrase Thomas Jefferson created in discussing the 1st Amendment. Strangely enough, Thomas Jefferson was NOT one of the people who wrote and voted on the Constitution.

  • 9 years ago

    There is no such thing as "separation of church and state."

    Please read the Constitution. It's not in there. Really.

    What it says is that the government can not force you to participate in a religion or keep you from worshiping how you wish (as long as you aren't breaking other laws, of course). That is, you can't perform human sacrifices and call it your "church."


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  • 9 years ago

    Libraries offer knowledge, which includes a wide variety of info or publications. His speaking there does not mean they endorse anything he is saying. An opinion is NOT SLANDER.

    Sounds more to me that you dislike what he has to say, and are trying to censor his freedom to speak.

    No. It IS NOT any violation.

  • Mark
    Lv 7
    9 years ago

    No, it is not a violation of the constitutional principle of separation of church and state. Read up, please, about case law from the US Supreme Court in which the Court elaborates on what that expression means (to them).

  • 9 years ago

    The US Supreme Court has never defined "religion," so the whole legal conversation is an intellectual train wreck... and that includes your question.

  • 9 years ago

    It's a book reading.

    Your best bet is to go there in person and disrupt it.

    Whatever you do, don't listen to him, you do not want to learn anything.

  • 9 years ago

    It would be much more of an issue if attendance was mandatory.

    Signed, An Atheist.

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