AMERICAN ATHEISTS, INC. P O Box 140195 Austin, TX 78714-0195 (512) 458-1244 November 28, 1

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AMERICAN ATHEISTS, INC. P O Box 140195 Austin, TX 78714-0195 (512) 458-1244 November 28, 1994 GINGRICH TOLD TO EMBRACE REALITY FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Newt Gingrich should face reality and admit that his plan to force prayer into the public schools will do nothing for school children or U.S. society, says Jon Murray, president of American Atheists. During the last month, Rep. Gingrich has repeatedly called for a constitutional amendment mandating prayer in public schools. In a speech to the Heritage Foundation on November 15, he claimed that school prayer "will have a surprising impact within a year on the quality of life in the schools." Mr. Murray agreed with Gingrich that there should be a debate "over freedom of religion versus freedom from religion." Challenging the representative by mail, Murray emphasized further that the debate should include the question of whether children should be taught to base their actions on "spirituality" or objective reality. "Gingrich should face facts: prayer will not clean up our schools. People will. Or as the old Atheist saying goes, 'Hands that help are better far than lips that pray,'" emphasizes Murray. American Atheists, a national organization of nonbelievers based in Austin, Texas, works for complete separation of state and church. It was founded by Madalyn Murray O'Hair, whose law suit against Bible reading and prayer recitation in the Baltimore public schools resulted in the 1963 Supreme Court decision banning state-sponsored prayer in public schools. The group is mounting a war chest to combat any legislation to sponsor a silent moment or state-sponsored prayer in the schools. For further comments, contact: Jon G. Murray or Robin Murray- O'Hair at (512) 458-1244. *********************************************************************** * * * 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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