Facing History, in partnership with the George Washington Institute for Religious Freedom, presents the Give Bigotry No Sanction project. Anchored by George Washington’s 1790 Letter to the Hebrew Congregation in Newport, Rhode Island—a foundational document of religious tolerance—the Give Bigotry No Sanction project inspires thoughtful conversation about matters of religious freedom in our increasingly diverse society. As part of this project, Washington’s Rebuke to Bigotry (July 28, 2015) features essays by prominent scholars that use the letter as a springboard to engage with important and timely questions regarding religious freedom, religious diversity, and civic identity.
Washington’s Rebuke to Bigotry introduces readers to the complexities of the historical moment in which Washington wrote the letter, when America’s founding leaders were negotiating how the new democracy would approach religious difference. Many essays in this collection also bring the spirit of Washington’s letter into the present, reflecting on contemporary issues such as gay rights in the United States, restrictions on religious practice in public spaces in European countries, and the place of religion in education.
Get a sneak peak of Washington's Rebuke to Bigotry! Enter your email address in the form on this page and you can download "The Origins of American Religious Liberty," by Pulitzer Prize-winning author and Brown University professor Gordon S. Wood in advance of the publication release in July 2015!
On the Give Bigotry No Sanction website, educators will find the text and images of the letters, as well as videos, timelines, and background information on the letter exchange and the historical period. Spur conversation about religious freedom and civic participation in your classroom with free lesson plans and activities.