What are you doing to preserve and strengthen religious freedom? This God-given right is the bedrock of a free and good society, and its erosion under the onslaught of increasingly hostile and pervasive attacks threatens the welfare of all of us. The purpose of this presentation is four-fold: (1) to understand the contribution of religious freedom to the founding and flourishing of America, (2) to analyze the rights and responsibilities associated with this most basic of all human rights, (3) to comprehend the current challenges to the free exercise of religion in both the public and private sectors, and, most important, (4) to equip students with the tools necessary to counter a growing anti-religious bigotry with well-researched, inspired, effective, and civil words and deeds. Such a presentation is one answer to the following call from Elder Quentin L. Cook: “My challenge … is that you join with people of all faiths who feel accountable to God in defending religious freedom so it can be a beacon for morality. … Be an active participant, not a silent observer” (2011). As you actively participate in this life-changing experience, you will be better able to defend your right to the most sacred of all property: conscience.
Meet Nicholas Gentile
Mr. Gentile has absolutely loved helping students to reason and relate principles in his on-campus and Home and Distance Education American History and World History courses at American Heritage School, where he has received the Rosalie J. Slater Award for instructional excellence. Prior to teaching at American Heritage School and The Fenn School in Concord, Massachusetts, Mr. Gentile earned a 4.00 GPA and a Master of Arts (MA) degree in American History at Brandeis University, where he was a Crown Fellow in the PhD program and mentored by the Pulitzer-Prize-winning historian David Hackett Fischer. He earned a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in History from Brigham Young University, where he graduated summa cum laude as a valedictorian, the recipient of the Outstanding Undergraduate in History award, and an Edwin S. Hinckley Scholar. He has published several articles in scholarly journals, including one about Thomas Jefferson’s philosophical sympathy for Native Americans in the May 2010 issue of We Proceeded On. He is also the author of “Would He Calm My Storms?”—an article about the Lord’s hand in his battles to stand for truths about marriage and family—which was published in the September 2012 Ensign. He is currently a full-time instructor for Seminaries and Institutes of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and also enjoys teaching an after-school directed readings seminar—“Defending Religious Freedom Today”—for American Heritage School. He and his eternal sweetheart, Christina, are passionate about teaching their four children to see gospel principles in the world around them and believe that, regardless of where children learn, education should be—first, last, and always—a stewardship of heart and home.
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