"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..."
The separation of church and state is one of this nation's most vital constitutional principles. The First Amendment guarantees religious liberty to all Americans and protects religion from unnecessary government influence. It also protects citizens from religious extremists who seek to force their beliefs into public policy.
Yet despite all of these benefits, church-state separation is misunderstood, misrepresented, and constantly under attack. Some people believe that their religious values should be the foundation of our laws. However, such attempts to mix religion and government threaten everyone's right to religious freedom.
Church-state issues directly impact college students.
From funding for student organizations to university-sponsored displays of religious symbols. You need to be aware of church-state separation and its importance in fostering diversity and respect. College students are some of the most involved citizens and dedicated activists. Your voices are essential to counter political extremists and to preserve diversity of all kinds.
The materials in this packet have been developed in order to help you advocate for church-state separation on your campus. Among other things, you will find information about how to get involved in supporting our work, both on an individual basis and through student groups.
With the increasing use of social networking sites such as Facebook, Flickr, and YouTube, there is an unprecedented ability to connect like-minded people throughout the world on an issue they care about. As we continue to develop our resources, we actively promote both our campus programs and AU in general to these online communities. To visit our presence on these networks, please visit the student website at http://student.au.org. The success of our efforts is only possible with the help of activists like you. Please contact Americans United if you have any questions or need additional resources. By working together, we can continue to build on our past successes and prepare ourselves for the challenges ahead.