DIAL A GAY ATHEIST 24 April 1994 +quot;Religious Harassment and National Day of Prayer+quo

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DIAL A GAY ATHEIST 24 April 1994 "Religious Harassment and National Day of Prayer" This is Dial A Gay Atheist, a communications service of American Gay & Lesbian Atheists. American Gay Atheists, Inc., is a non-profit, educational foundation dedicated to keeping state and church separate and promoting the concept as the gay and lesbian community's most important constitutional ally. All inquiries should be addressed, in writing, to AGLA, PO Box 66711, Houston, TX 77266. No part of the contents of Dial A Gay Atheist may be reproduced, in whole or in part, without receiving written permission from American Gay Atheists, Inc. This is Don Sanders, your Dial A Gay Atheist host. We were alarmed this week when we heard the news that Christian fundamentalists are trying to stop the Federal Equal Employment Opportunities Commission from including "religious harassment" as part of its new guidelines on workplace harassment. This bit of news came to us from the Salt lake Tribune which picked up the story from the Orange County Register. The Orange County Register is an appropriate source since one of Orange County California's more notable citizens, the "Rev." Lou Sheldon and his Anaheim-based Traditional Values Coalition are protesting on Capitol Hill, thus far enlisting help from 40 members of Congress and putting pressure on the EEOC to drop religious harassment from its new guidelines. This effort on the part of the Christo-Nazis only indicates that religious harassment does, indeed, occur in such places as around the water-cooler, in the board room, at the snack bar, etc. American Gay & Lesbian Atheists has heard from a number of its members that they are regularly harassed at the workplace. It is not uncommon for a fellow employee to continue to harangue other workers into attending church services, never accepting "No" as a final answer. The situation can also be far worse if the person who is proselytizing is a supervisor or perhaps the owner of the company. Religious harassment in the workplace is on the same par as sexual harassment, and perhaps even more volatile since it involves the world's most delicate subject besides sex and politics -- God. It doesn't surprise us, however, that the Christian brownshirts are in opposition because they are aware that many of them do harass other people, especially non-Christians and Atheists. After all, their religion commands them to harass and harangue as many people as possible, at any place and at any time, to try to persuade them to "accept" Jesus Christ and the teachings of the crazy Christian cult. We strongly urge you to send a letter to the EEOC, letting that agency know that you appreciate their efforts to include religious harassment as part of its new guidelines on harassment in the workplace. If you can relate some personal experiences, please do. We understand that the EEOC is still accepting public opinion on this important subject. Please address your letters to: Office of the Executive Secretary Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEOC) 1801 L Street NW Washington, DC 20507. AGLA would appreciate your sending a copy of your letter to its office. On another important note, something important is coming up on Thursday, May 5. That's the day when Christians across America intimidate the elected and appointed officials of our secular government to engage in and actually sponsor prayer rallies, hymn singing, and other such religious fare at our city halls, in our public schools, in our state legislatures, etc. The first Thursday of May was officially declared, during the Reagan Administration, as "Meet At City Hall" day as a function of a National Day of Prayer. Of course, there wasn't a National Day of Prayer during Washington's era, nor Jefferson's, nor even during Lincoln's. It came about, like so many other state/church violations (like imprinting god on our coins & currency and adding "under god" to our Pledge of Allegiance) after World War II, during those hot McCarthy days when we were busily trying to prove to the world that we were on the opposite side of the fence from our new enemy, the evil empire of the godless, atheistic Soviets. The National Day of Prayer is yet another of the scatological gifts given to the American people during this time of looking for a communist under every bed and ruining the lives of thousands of Americans whose views and ideas were different than those prescribed by the likes of Senator Joseph McCarthy and his followers. This was a time when the U.S. Constitution, particularly the First Amendment's call for state/church separation, was used as toilet tissue by McCarthy, Truman and Eisenhower. And before he left office, Ronald Reagan wanted to be sure that he continued the tradition of using the Establishment Clause as bathroom paper by penning his signature to Public Law #100-307 which was finally amended on May 5, 1988. It reads as follows: The President shall set aside and proclaim the first Thursday in May in each year as a National Day of Prayer; on which the people of the United States may turn to God in prayer and meditation at churches, in groups, and as individuals. Of course, such a proclamation is completely outside the rights of any president to proclaim. The law isn't worth the paper it is written on, but it stands only because the vast majority of the people of the United States know nothing about their Constitution, and worse, they care not for its words. In Houston, AGLA and American Atheists are planning a big Keep State and Church Separate Rally and protest during the Meet at City Hall ceremonies which will be held on the steps of your city hall and presided over by your mayor and many city council persons and others elected and appointed officials. Protesting this highly-charged, "revival-style" outdoor bash for Jesus has become an annual affair for AGLA, and this year will be no different. We will begin gathering at 11:30 AM at the Reflection Pool of the City Hall in downtown Houston. Signs will be provided. The signs will concentrate on quotations from many of the nation's Founding Fathers who, for the most part, were not Christians. Jefferson, Madison, Washington, Adams, Franklin and others had some very strong anti-Christian leanings and our Federal Constitution, which is devoid of any references to the Christian god, is reflective of that. However, the National Day of Prayer festivities is promoted by a right-wing, Christian nut group headquartered in America's new center for right-wing, Christian fascist activity, Colorado Springs, CO. Yes, folks, the same bunch that gave us Colorado's anti-gay Amendment 2 are the very same ones who will be down at your city hall with their arms being held antenna-like and their eyeballs rolling around the perimeters of their sockets, spreading the most awful lies that the United States is a Christian nation. Last year, Houston's ole-boy network Mayor Lanier made a statement that "all Houstonians" should pray. And we can only assume he meant that "all Houstonians" should pray to Jesus since the whole affair was designed with the insane Christian fundie in mind. It's about time you local Atheists let your mayor know that he is violating the U.S. Constitution whose tenets he promised to uphold, protect and defend. Let's give "Meet At City Hall" a new meaning this year. Let's all meet at City Hall and take back our beautiful secular heritage which is being stolen from us right from under our noses. Well, folks, that's about all we have time for today. If you would like to receive a free sample copy of The American Gay & Lesbian Atheist newsletter, just drop a line to AGLA, PO Box 66711, Houston, TX 77266. The American Atheist TV Forum will return to the air in Houston in mid-May and we will be announcing the times and dates soon. Be sure to set aside some time to denounce the Christian takeover our nation on May 5. Your presence is greatly needed. And remember, the same folks who will be down at your secular city hall claiming that this is a Christian nation under god are part of the very same bunch who are working to deny all gays and lesbians their rights to equality under the law. Let the Fundies know, and especially let your elected & appointed city officials know, that you are fed up and that you demand that State & Church be kept Separate. Here's the tone. Let us know from where you're calling and what's on your mind. And call this American GAY Atheist again, anytime! *********************************************************************** * * * American Atheists website: http://www.atheists.org * * PO Box 140195 FTP: ftp://ftp.atheists.org * * Austin, TX 78714-0195 * * Voice: (512) 458-1244 Dial-THE-ATHEIST: * * FAX: (512) 467-9525 (512) 458-5731 * * * * Atheist Viewpoint TV: avtv@atheists.org * * Info on American Atheists: info@atheists.org, * * & American Atheist Press include your name and mailing address * * AANEWS -Free subscription: aanews-request@listserv.atheists.org * * and put "info aanews" in message body * * * * This text may be freely downloaded, reprinted, and/other * * otherwise redistributed, provided appropriate point of * * origin credit is given to American Atheists. * * * ***********************************************************************

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