Game (10-15 minutes)
Tape the name of a famous president or president's wife on the back of each person. (George or Martha Washington, John or Abigail Adams, James or Dolly Madison, George or Barbara Bush, etc.). Everyone mixes and asks "Yes or No" questions to try and discover the identity of the president or president's wife.
The first 1-3 people who guess their person's identity can claim a prize (candy or something patriotic).
Pre-Video Discussion (10 minutes)
Hand out the pre-video case study. This can be a brief discussion (5 minutes) either in small groups or a large group.
People can take 5 minutes to fill out #1-6. No further discussion is needed at this time. As they listen to the video, they can make changes. Also, towards the end of this portion of the video (after about 14 minutes), they should write down what happened in 1947, 1958 and 1962.
Video (16 minutes)
You may want to rewind the video tape to include the last two minutes from the first week's video. In that case you could rewind it to the section when the year 1811 appears on the screen.
You will stop the video when it lists the four areas of a supposed unconstitutional prayer.
Post-Video Discussion (10-15 minutes)
Ask people to give their opinions on #1-6. After some discussion, note that the Constitution did not intend for Christian principles to be separate from civil government or education.
#2 is the answer that should be circled. This is definitely a violation of separation of church and state. In 1802, long after the Constitution was written, President Thomas Jefferson first used the term separation of church and state in referring to a rumor that a single denomination would be established. He affirmed that the government would not do this, based on the Constitution.
#3-6 are not violations, as long as the person does not seek to indoctrinate or to invade the rights of others. It is a fine line and more detailed information is given in the books mentioned in the introduction. Some general guidelines are:
Discuss the three dates (1947, 1958 and 1962) and how some of those events changed our view of our godly heritage.
Return to the pre-video case study. Ask if they would make any changes to their answers. The students from the case study asked the school lawyer to reconsider funding their club, based on a Supreme Court ruling (Witters 1986). It was important that this come from the students and not the faculty advisor. They were provided with funds, because as a registered student club, they had equal access to funds just like any other student club.
Inform the listeners that a lawyer from the Rutherford Institute explained that fire departments are provided in part by the state. If a church catches on fire, the firemen would be wrong to say, "Well, we can't put out that fire because, as a state institution, we must observe the separation of church and state."
© Copyright 1996, Campus Crusade for Christ.
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