Lesson Extension Activities

Use these lesson extensions to help your students understand the historical context of American religious liberty.

Glossary: Use this vocabulary PDF to help your students understand the language of religious liberty from the time of the Founders to today.


Lesson One: Download the key terms PDF

Extension: Freedom of Religion vs. Freedom of Association?

In the 2010 case of Christian Legal Society v. Martinez, the court ruled (5-4) that a student organization at a public university was not free to limit their members to those who shared their core religious viewpoints if that membership requirement resulted in discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. What is your opinion on this ruling, and what is your constitutional reasoning?
Learn more about the First Amendment and the case of Christian Legal Society v. Martinez here:


Lesson Two: Download the key terms PDF


Lesson Three: Download the key terms PDF

Extension: Freedom of Religion in France?

In 2010, the French Parliament passed a law forbidding people, including visitors to the country, from covering their faces in public. The law makes exceptions for those who must cover their face as a condition of their work, including doctors who wear surgical masks and police in riot gear. While the law makes no mention of Islam, the law will effectively ban burgas and other full-body robes worn by Muslim women. Could this type of law be constitutional in the United States? Why or why not?


Lesson Four: Download the key terms PDF

Extension: Neither Snow nor Rain…

You may want to print additional copies of Handout D from the curriculum to use for this extension with your class:

  • The Post Office does not recognize January 7th as a holiday; workers who celebrate Eastern Orthodox Christmas may take time off.
  • Zip code 92354 is the only place in the United States where mail delivery is on Sunday. The Post Office attempted to change the policy when the population of Seventh Day Adventists decreased, but even non-adherents voted to maintain the “not on Sunday” mail delivery policy in Loma Linda.
  • The Post Office recognizes all national holidays, including Thanksgiving.
  • The Post Office delivers mail on all Jewish holidays unless they fall on a Sunday; workers who are Jewish may take time off.
  • The Post Office delivers mail during Ramadan, except on Sunday; Muslim workers may take time off.

John F. Kennedy and the “Catholic Question”

  • Why do you think Kennedy found it necessary to address a group of Protestant ministers during his campaign?
  • What historical documents and events does Kennedy refer to in his speech? Why do you think he included these?
  • How does Kennedy address concerns about a potential conflict between person conscience/ religious belief and national interest?

Lesson Five: Download the key terms PDF

Free Background Essays for Lesson 5

Learn more about religious liberty and the Supreme Court with these free PDF reading downloads from The Bill of Rights and You: Rights and Responsibilities curriculum.

The Bill of Rights Institute is grateful to
The George Washington Institute for Religious Freedom
The Ambassador John L. Loeb Visitor’s Center at the Touro Synagogue, Newport, Rhode Island
for making Religious Liberty: The American Experiment a reality.