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Charles C. Haynes

May 13, 2022

On the Religious Freedom Center and the First Amendment

A Discussion with Charles C. Haynes

New Books Network 2022

Charles C. Haynes is vice president of the Freedom Forum Institute / Religious Freedom Center and a senior scholar at the First Amendment Center.

Haynes is best known for his work on First Amendment issues in public schools. Over the past two decades, he has been the principal organizer and drafter of consensus guidelines on religious liberty in schools, endorsed by a broad range of religious and educational organizations. In January 2000, three of the guides were distributed by the U.S. Department of Education to every public school in the nation. These are “A Parent’s Guide to Religion in the Public Schools,” “A Teacher’s Guide to Religion in the Public Schools,” and “Public Schools & Religious Communities.”

Haynes is the author or co-author of six books, including First Freedoms: A Documentary History of First Amendment Rights in America, and Religion in American Public Life: Living with Our Deepest Differences. His column, Inside the First Amendment, appears in newspapers nationwide.

He is a founding board member of the Character Education Partnership, and serves on the steering committee of the Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools and the American Bar Association Advisory Commission on Public Education. He chairs the Committee on Religious Liberty, founded by the National Council of Churches.

Widely quoted in news magazines and major newspapers, Haynes is also a frequent guest on television and radio. He has been profiled in The Wall Street Journal and on ABC’s “Evening News.” In 2008, he received the Virginia First Freedom Award from the Council for America’s First Freedom.

Haynes holds a master’s degree from Harvard Divinity School and a doctorate from Emory University.

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