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Charles C. Haynes

Dr. Charles C. Haynes is director of the Religious Freedom Education Project at the Newseum and a senior scholar at the First Amendment Center. He writes and speaks extensively on religious liberty and religion in American public life.

All Stories by Charles C. Haynes

In 2014, free the faithful

By Charles C. Haynes — January 11, 2014
Christian pastor Saeed Abedini, imprisoned in Iran, is just one of thousands imprisoned for their different faiths around the world.

From a 5th-grader, uncomfortable truth about religious conflict

By Charles C. Haynes — December 26, 2013
If schools don’t teach young kids (or allow them to discuss) the truth about religious strife in history, then what exactly do they teach?

Don’t worry, Santa, the ‘war on Christmas’ isn’t real

By Charles C. Haynes — December 14, 2013
Belief in Santa perpetuates a spirit of joy and goodwill. But the “war on Christmas” narrative does little more than stir up anger and ill will.

On Thanksgivukkah, give thanks for religious freedom

By Charles C. Haynes — November 28, 2013
Both Hanukkah and Thanksgiving are rooted in the struggle for religious liberty, but neither marks a lasting triumph.

When God-talk by kids is protected speech

By Charles C. Haynes — September 19, 2013
Fortunately, a growing number of schools are getting the message that the First Amendment doesn’t mandate a religion-free zone in public schools.

To stop the madness, put a face to faith

By Charles C. Haynes — September 5, 2013
Success of Face to Faith program in schools worldwide reminds us that In a world torn by sectarian violence and hate, we can – and must – do much more to help young people experience our common humanity.

By removing Islam display, Kansas school surrenders to ignorance

By Charles C. Haynes — August 22, 2013
Bulletin-board posting was part of what public schools are supposed to be doing in teaching about Islam, Christianity and other faiths in ways that are constitutionally and academically sound.

Dispelling the myth of a ‘Christian nation’

By Charles C. Haynes — August 8, 2013
The Framers of our Constitution knew the time had come to break from the precedents of history and bar any religious group from ever imposing itself on the nation.

For most Americans, gay equality trumps religious objections

By Charles C. Haynes — August 8, 2013
Advocates for marriage equality draw the line on religious freedom when religious groups take government funds.

A right for the religious is a right for the nonreligious

By Charles C. Haynes — July 14, 2013
Pushback from atheists on religious monuments, military chaplains and other issues is triggered by frequent lack of equal treatment for the nonreligious in a society that often privileges religion.

Democracy minus freedom equals tyranny

By Charles C. Haynes — July 5, 2013
In Egypt, the Morsi government's drive for power produced a constitution that ignored religious freedom, free speech and other basic rights.

Legislative prayers, the Supreme Court’s self-created quagmire

By Charles C. Haynes — May 30, 2013
When the U.S. Supreme Court declared legislative prayers constitutional 30 years ago, the justices sent a convoluted message to legislatures, city councils and other government bodies.

Graduation prayer, fighting over a lost cause

By Charles C. Haynes — May 16, 2013
School officials in Lake City, Arkansas have come up with a novel solution to the fight over prayer at graduation: No prayer, no graduation.

No flowers for gay wedding: Discrimination or religious freedom?

By Charles C. Haynes — April 18, 2013
Lawsuit against a florist who refused to do flower arrangements for a gay wedding pits rights of citizens to be free from discrimination in places of public accommodation against the rights of religious business owners to follow their conscience in matters of faith.

Why fifth graders have rights too

By Charles C. Haynes — March 21, 2013
To what extent do students have First Amendment rights? Recently, a three judge panel of the U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals has written another chapter in that debate by ruling in favor of a fifth grader who was barred by school officials from handing out invitations to a Christmas party at her church.
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