Jay Wexler: Our Non-Christian Nation on the 2nd Floor
Wednesday June 12: 7:30PM – 8:30PM
Doors open 30 minutes before the start of the event.
Less and less Christian demographically, America is now home to an ever-larger number of people who say they identify with no religion at all. These non-Christians have increasingly been demanding their full participation in public life, bringing their arguments all the way to the Supreme Court. The law is on their side, but that doesn't mean that their attempts are not met with suspicion or outright hostility. In Our Non-Christian Nation, Jay Wexler travels the country to engage the non-Christians who have called on us to maintain our ideals of inclusivity and diversity. With his characteristic sympathy and humor, he introduces us to the Summum and their Seven Aphorisms, a Wiccan priestess who would deck her City Hall with a pagan holiday wreath, and other determined champions of free religious expression. As Wexler reminds us, anyone who cares about pluralism, equality, and fairness should support a public square filled with a variety of religious and nonreligious voices. The stakes are nothing short of long-term social peace.
Join us in the 2nd Floor Art Department as Jay Wexler discusses his new book! Jay will be joined in conversation by multi award-winning filmmaker Penny Lane.
Professor Jay Wexler has taught at Boston University School of Law since 2001 and is the author of six books, including Holy Hullabaloos: A Road Trip to the Battlegrounds of the Church/State Wars and When God Isn’t Green: A Worldwide Journey to Places Where Religious Practice and Environmentalism Collide. Professor Wexler’s shorter pieces have appeared in places like The Boston Globe, The Huffington Post, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Mental Floss, National Geographic’s NewsWatch, Salon, Slate, and Spy. Prior to teaching, Wexler worked as a law clerk to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and as a lawyer at the U.S. Department of Justice.
Penny Lane is an award-winning nonfiction filmmaker who was named one of Filmmaker Magazine‘s “25 New Faces of Independent Film” and a Chicken & Egg Breakthrough Award winner. Her most recent feature-length documentary HAIL SATAN? recently debuted at Sundance and will be released by Magnolia Pictures in 2019. Her third feature-length documentary THE PAIN OF OTHERS premiered at Rotterdam 2018, and went on to BAMcinemaFest, Sheffield Doc/Fest, SF DocFest, BAFICI, Sarasota and Maryland Film Festivals. Her second feature-length documentary NUTS! premiered at Sundance 2016, where it won a Special Jury Award for Editing. It has since screened at many other film festivals such as Hot Docs, Full Frame, Ashland, Maryland, Cleveland, Sarasota and BAFICI. Her debut feature-length documentary OUR NIXON premiered at Rotterdam 2013, had its North American premiere at SXSW, won the Ken Burns Award for “Best of the Festival” at Ann Arbor, and was selected as the Closing Night Film at New Directors/New Films. Penny’s short films are distributed by VTAPE and include titles such as THE VOYAGERS (2010), THE COMMONERS (2009) and WE ARE THE LITTLETONS: A TRUE STORY. Her 2005 short THE ABORTION DIARIES has become an important organizing and educational tool across the nation. THE ABORTION DIARIES has screened in at least 42 states & worldwide at over 350 different community venues, ranging from bars to art centers to clinics to colleges, and also on Yes! Television and Free Speech TV. In 2006, Penny was given a Choice USA “Generation Award” for her work on this film. Penny has been awarded grants from the Sundance Institute, Catapult Film Fund, Creative Capital, Cinereach, TFI Documentary Fund, Jerome Foundation, LEF Foundation, NYSCA, Experimental Television Center, IFP and Puffin Foundation. She was named “Most Badass!” at the Iowa City Documentary Film Festival in 2009. She received her MFA in Integrated Electronic Arts at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and her BA in American Culture and Media Studies at Vassar College. She has taught film, video and new media art at Colgate University, Bard College, Hampshire College and Williams College. (Photo: Joseph Michael Lopez)