Law Professor Shares Church and State Expertise with Associated Press

Law Professor Steven Green recently provided his legal expertise for an Associated Press article on a case that debates the right of freedom of religion versus the state's duty to protect children from harm.

The case involves an Oregon City couple charged with manslaughter who claim they were within their constitutional rights when they decided to pray for their 15-month-old daughter rather than take her to a doctor when she had pneumonia. Their daughter died, and the state medical examiner said the girl could have easily been treated with antibiotics.

Green said the law typically has not sided with faith healers in cases like this one. "Faith healing practitioners and individuals who believe in faith healing have had a lot more difficult time, if not almost impossible time" defending themselves in the deaths of children, he said in the article.

Green is the former general counsel and policy director for Americans United for Separation of Church and State. He is a national expert on church and state issues, and he directs the Center for Religion, Law and Democracy at Willamette.

To read the full Associated Press article, visit For more about Green, go to