The Catholic League has endorsed the Common Ground Project of the First Amendment Center. The center, located on the campus of Vanderbilt University, is committed to “Religious Liberty, Public Education and the Future of American Democracy.”

By signing this statement, the league joins such diverse supporters as American Federation of Teachers, Anti-Defamation League, Christian Coalition and the Christian Legal Society. The following is a list of the six principles that the league endorsed.

I. RELIGIOUS LIBERTY FOR ALL Religious liberty is an inalienable right of every person.

II. THE MEANING OF CITIZENSHIP Citizenship in a diverse society means living with our deepest differences and committing ourselves to work for public policies that are in the best interest of all individuals, families, communities and nations.

III. PUBLIC SCHOOLS BELONG TO ALL CITIZENS Public schools must model the democratic process and constitutional principles in the development of policies and curricula.

IV. RELIGIOUS LIBERTY AND PUBLIC SCHOOLS Public schools may not inculcate nor inhibit religion. They must be places where religion and religious conviction are treated with fairness and respect.

V. THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN PARENTS AND SCHOOLS Parents are recognized as having the primary responsibility for the upbringing of their children, including education.a

VI. CONDUCT OF PUBLIC DISPUTES Civil debate, the cornerstone of a true democracy, is vital to the success of any effort to improve and reform America’s public schools.

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