Last updated on: 10/17/2007 | Author: ProCon.org

T. Jeremy Gunn, PhD, JD Biography

Title:
Director of the ACLU Program on Religion and Belief
Position:
Pro to the question "Is the ACLU Good for America?"
Reasoning:

“Religion is pervasive in the public square in the United States – and it is constitutionally protected. The ACLU has long defended individuals, families, and religious communities who wish to manifest their religion in public. Particularly when compared to other industrialized democracies, religion plays a prominent role in American public life. Churches, synagogues, mosques, temples, cathedrals, and Gurdwaras are plainly visible in the public sphere and their right to display religious symbols and to construct religious edifices is protected by the Constitution and by statutes. The ACLU has actively supported the right of people to preach their religion in public places and to go door-to-door to spread their religious messages.”

E-mail to ProCon.org, Dec. 12, 2006

“This year, several groups are once again introducing the Christmas season with some heated and misleading military rhetoric… One particularly bizarre charge is that there is ‘a thorough and virulent anti-Christmas campaign.’ Without a shred of evidence, they pretend that there is an effort afoot to remove ‘God’ from the Declaration of Independence. Two groups even announced that they have assembled hundreds of lawyers to protect Christmas against this imaginary threat…

First, Christmas displays — including nativity scenes — are perfectly acceptable at homes and churches. This religious expression is a valued and protected part of the First Amendment rights guaranteed to all citizens.

Second, governments should not be in the business of endorsing religious displays. Religion does best when government stays out of the business of deciding which holidays and religions to promote. Religion belongs where it prospers best: with individuals, families and religious communities.

And finally, as a seasonal greeting to all Christians: Merry Christmas from the ACLU!”

USA Today, Dec. 2005

Theoretical Expertise Ranking:
    Experts
Individuals with PhDs and JDs or equivalent advanced degrees in fields relevant to the ACLU. Also top-level government officials (such as foreign leaders, US presidents, Founding Fathers, Supreme Court Justices, members of legislative bodies, cabinet members, military leaders, etc.) with positions relevant to the ACLU.
Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Director, Program on Religion and Belief, American Civil Liberties Union, 2005-present
  • Board of Editors, Journal of Church and State, 2004-present
  • Member, National Program Advisory Board, Council for America’s First Freedom, 2004-present
  • Member, Académie Internationale de Droit Constitutionnel, 2004-present
  • Member, Panel of Experts, International Religious Liberty Association, 2002-present
  • Senior Fellow for Religion and Human Rights, Emory University Law School, 2000-present
  • Visiting Professor, Dept. of Political Science, Université Laval, 2005
  • Visiting Professor, Law, Université Paul Cézanne, 2004
  • Visiting Lecturer, Law, Universität Trier, 2004
  • Visiting Lecturer, Université de Tunis, 2004
  • Director, Research and Deputy General Counsel, U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, 1999-2000
  • Member, U.S. Supreme Court Bar, 1990-present
  • Senior Fellow, United States Institute of Peace, 1998-1999
  • Executive Director and General Counsel, JFK Assassination Records Review Board, 1994-1998
  • Attorney, Covington & Burling, 1988-1994
  • Law Clerk, Hon. Douglas P. Woodlock, United States District Court, Boston, MA, 1987-1988
Education:
  • PhD, Harvard University, 1991
  • JD, magna cum laude, Boston University School of Law, 1987
  • AM, Humanities, University of Chicago, 1978
  • BA, International Relations and Humanities, Brigham Young University, 1974
Other:

None found

Quoted in:
  1. Is the ACLU against Christmas or Other Religious Holidays?
  2. Is the ACLU Good for America?