AMERICAN ATHEISTS Utah Regional Office FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE November 9, 1994 News Contact

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AMERICAN ATHEISTS Utah Regional Office FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE November 9, 1994 News Contacts: Chris Allen, Regional Representative Richard Andrews, Regional Representative Brian Barnard, Attorney PROPOSITION 3 REJECTED STATE/CHURCH SEPARATION ENDORSED "American Atheists is very pleased with the defeat of Proposition 3, the so-called Nonsectarian Study of Religion amendment to the state constitution," said Chris Allen this morning. "Utah's wall of separation between state and church has never been very strong, and suffered a terrible battering last year at the hands of the state Supreme Court, but this shows that a majority of Utahans do not want to see it weakened further. It is our hope that the legislature and the Supreme Court will understand this message and respond accordingly." "Obviously many people are concerned about the divisive effect of these contact crusades," said Richard Andrews. "They want their leaders and schools to show respect for diversity in their community. They want their tax money spent responsibly, on important needs, like education, law enforcement, and health care. They don't want to see any more of it disappear down the litigation rat-hole." "Some Utah politicians seeks every opportunity to attack our wall of separation, calling it hostility towards religion," said Allen. They apparently think this will win them votes. Hopefully this defeat will encourage them to rethink their tactics." "I think this also points out a credibility problem," said Andrews. "The legislators pushing Proposition 3 said it would only clarify the meaning of the word 'instruction' to allow objective teaching about religion. They said it would deter future law suits. Those arguments were rejected, indicating a clear distrust of the legislature's real motives. The hidden agenda of the radical right was just too apparent." "This is good news for our school teachers too," said Allen. "It will take some of the pressure off them to push religious 'values' and 'heritage,' reducing their exposure to possible law suits. I think most teachers have a good sense of the difference between objective study of religion and indoctrination, but there are just a few who have difficulty distinguishing established secular facts from sectarian doctrine, and this will save those few from possible embarrassment or worse." *********************************************************************** * * * 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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