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The Separation of Church and State

10 am Thursday on Focus: It’s been 65 years since a U.S. Supreme Court case made Vashti McCollum of Champaign one of the most famous atheists in the country.

Vashti McCollum in court

Vashti McCollum in court The News-Gazette

Host Jim Meadows talks with filmmaker and U of I associate professor of journalism Jay Rosenstein about his Peabody Award-winning documentary “The Lord is Not on Trial Here Today.” The film takes a never-before-seen look at a landmark First Amendment case that has become famous for first using the terminology “separation of church and state.” We’ll talk with Rosenstein about the case, how he became aware it had roots in Champaign and how he went about researching and producing the film. Ken Paulson, former editor and senior vice president of news for USA Today and president of the First Amendment Center, also joins the conversation.

What does “separation of church and state” actually mean? Join our conversation. Connect with us on Facebook or Twitter @Focus580 or post in the comments section below.

Ken Paulson will be a part of a panel discussion following a screening of the film on campus at 7 pm Thursday, March 7, in the National Center for Supercomputing Applications Building auditorium.