The Delaware Valley Americans United Chapter invites you to join us at 7pm on Thursday April 12th an the Bucks County Library, 150 S Pine St, Doylestown PA, for a showing of the movie “The Lord is Not On Trial Here Today.”
From the site:
THE REAL STORY OF HOW SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS BECAME PART OF AMERICAN LAW – AND THE COURAGEOUS WOMAN WHO MADE IT HAPPEN
She was called “that awful woman” by her neighbors, and “that atheist mother” by newspapers across the country. Her friends stopped returning phone calls rather than risk speaking with her. She was branded a communist, and the Illinois State Legislature nearly outlawed her and her husband from ever working at the state university again. She received up to 200 letters a day, some of the writers claiming they would pray for her; many wishing for much worse.
All because, in 1945, Vashti McCollum would file a historic lawsuit that would forever change the relationship between religion and public school in America – and turn this young housewife from central Illinois into an unlikely champion of the separation of church and state.
The Lord Is Not On Trial Here Today is a Peabody and Emmy Award-winning documentary that tells the compelling personal story of the late Vashti McCollum, and how her efforts to protect her ten year-old son led to one of the most important and landmark First Amendment cases in U.S. Supreme Court history – the case that established the separation of church and state in public schools. The case is little-known by the contemporary American public, yet the McCollum decision continues to have important ramifications for current conflicts over the role of religion in public institutions – from displays of the Ten Commandments in government buildings to student-led prayers at public school graduation ceremonies.
The film recounts what Vashti McCollum later described as “three years of headlines, headaches, and hatred,” and the dramatic legal maneuverings that led to a decision that shocked the nation and made the McCollums a household name. “Beautifully researched” according to the Peabody Awards, perhaps one reviewer described it best: “The Lord Is Not On Trial Here Today(tells) a little-known story of a woman, a court case, and a movement that changed American society forever.”
The Lord Is Not On Trial Here Today is written, produced, and directed by Jay Rosenstein.
Narration by former M*A*S*H TV actor David Ogden Stiers.
Major funding by the Independent Television Service; the Office of the Chancellor, University of Illinois, Urbana; the Illinois Humanities Council.
2010 The Lord is Not on Trial Here Today. Harriman, NY: New Day Films.
Notes: DVD, 56 minutes Reviewed 05 Dec 2010 by:
Jack David Eller
Keywords: THE LORD IS NOT ON TRIAL HERE TODAY tells the personal story behind one of the most important and landmark First Amendment cases in U.S. history, the case that began separation of church and state in public schools. The film recounts what Vashti McCollum later described as “three years of headlines, headaches, and hatred”, but which eventually led to a decision that still resonates in the church-state conflicts of today – 60 years after the original decision in McCollum vs. Board of Education.
ABSTRACT: This very professional video tells the story of Vashti McCollum, who stood up in an era of religious conformity in the U.S. to defend the constitutional disestablishment of religion in regard to public schools.