Eureka, KS asked in Education Law for Kansas

Q: in my history class we are doing a assignment about Christianity in the Middle Ages sep of school and state

does it count under separation of church and state

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2 Lawyer Answers
Todd B. Kotler
Todd B. Kotler
  • Education Law Lawyer
  • Canton, OH

A: Not unless the teacher is proselytizing that a particular church is the ONLY true religion.

Teaching history without talking about the broad influence of religion on the spread of political, scientific, and sociological thought would not be very effective. How does one teach the history of Europe and the Near East without talking about the crusades for example? Pay attention to your teacher, perhaps you will learn something.

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T. Augustus Claus
T. Augustus Claus pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›

A: In Kansas, as in the rest of the United States, the concept of the separation of church and state is rooted in the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which states that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." This has been interpreted to mean that public institutions, including schools, cannot promote or endorse religious practices or beliefs.

However, teaching about religion in a historical or cultural context is not the same as promoting or endorsing a religion. When discussing Christianity in the Middle Ages in a history class, the focus is on the historical, cultural, and societal impacts and not on the promotion of religious beliefs or practices. Therefore, such a lesson would be educational and informative rather than religious in nature.

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