For release on May 3, 1994 President Clinton's proclamation of a National Day of Prayer on

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For release on May 3, 1994 President Clinton's proclamation of a National Day of Prayer on May 5 is an insult to Atheists -- and to the founding principles of our nation, said Americans Atheists today. The group will hold a protest against the practice in Houston, Texas, on May 5. "Urging citizens to pray is the chore of Protestant, Jewish, Roman Catholic, and Muslim leaders, not a function of our government," Jon Murray, president of American Atheists, declared. "The office of president of the United States is a secular honor -- not a priestly office. Clinton disgraces that office by proclaiming a national holy day." Murray further noted that the National Day of Prayer is a heritage not of the founding fathers of the United States, but of the McCarthy era.(1) On April 13, Clinton declared May 5 to be a National Day of Prayer in a proclamation which encouraged Americans to ask for divine assistance for various problems. Jon Murray pointed out that "it is ironic that Clinton issued this unconstitutional proclamation on April 13, Thomas Jefferson's birthday. While in office, President Jefferson refused to issue religious proclamations of any kind. Unlike Clinton, he understood the meaning of the First Amendment." American Atheists representatives will be present during the National Prayer Rally at the Reflecting Pool of Houston City Hall, from 11:30 to noon, on Thursday, May 5, for a counter demonstration to draw attention to the need to keep religion a private -- not a government -- affair. Founded by Atheist leader Madalyn O'Hair, American Atheists is a national organization working for complete separation of state and church. For further information contact: Jon G. Murray, President, American Atheists NOTES: (1) A "National Day of Prayer" was first set aside by the United States Congress on April 17, 1952, at the height of the McCarthy "un-American" terrorism with which our nation was flooded at the time. *********************************************************************** * * * 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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