Title of Presentation: The True Meaning of the Separation of Church and State
Date & Time: Sunday, June 2 9:00 am
Location: Mission Bay E
Presentation Summary: The Religious Right argues that our constitutional system was founded to only prohibit government from favoring one religion over others. They insist that all branches of government can favor religion, collectively, over nonbelief. Justice Scalia has even written that the First Amendment “permits the disregard of the devout atheist.” Constitutional lawyer Edward Tabash will demonstrate how the historical record amazingly reveals that the actual intent of the Founders was to establish a constitutional system in which nonbelievers are fully equal before the law. In this presentation, he will show how the main concern of the Founders was to protect the equal rights of conscience of everyone, regardless of whether someone is a believer.
(Read full presentation outline here.)
Biography: Edward Tabash is a constitutional lawyer in the Los Angeles area. He chairs the board of directors of the Center for Inquiry, the Council for Secular Humanism, and the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. He also chairs the nationwide legal committee of Americans United for Separation of Church and State. He has filed amicus briefs arguing for church/state separation before the United States and California supreme courts. He is also a very well-known atheist debater, having debated such prominent religious philosophers as William Lane Craig and Richard Swinburne. He is also a life member of the American Humanist Association.