ATHIESTS PROTEST N.O. GRANTS TO BAPTISTS AND ASK FOR ONE TOO
New Orleans - A national organization of atheists has asked New
Orleans officials to rescind a $20,000 grant to a convention of
Baptists meeting in the city next month.
It also applied, perhaps facetiously, for a similar grant in
support of its own "non-prayer brakfast," which it said
"features a traditional moment of bedlam, the song 'Nothing
Fails Like a Prayer' and other irreverencies."
The protest and request came from the Freedom From Religion
Foundation, which describes itself as a group of "atheists,
agnostics, free-thinkers and other non-religious individuals
critical of religion, Christianity, God-belief and the Bible."
The Madison Wis., group protested two $20,000.00 grants by the
City Council. One was to the Full Gospel Baptist Church
Fellowship, which drew an estimated 25,000 people to its first
annual conference in the Superdome last month. The other is to
the national Baptist Convention, an association of Baptist
churches expected to bring at least 15,000 people to the city
Both grants came from an economic development fund administered
by the council.
Councilwoman Ellen Hazeur, who presented the check to the Full
Gospel conference, defend The foundation lodged its protest and
applied for its own grant in letters to Mayor Marc Morial and
Council President Jim Singleton.
"Please mail us plenty of additional forms," staff member Annie
Laurie Gaylor wrote to Singleton, "as we will be alerting gay
rights organizations, pro-choice abortion and feminist groups
and 'Satanists' (if we can find any) about your 'open door'