To: All Msg #200, 06-Sep-93 09:42pm Subject: Rob

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From: Greg Dabbs Kill To: All Msg #200, 06-Sep-93 09:42pm Subject: Rob Sherman's article I will forwarn you all that this will take about 5 posts, so get out your screen traps or whatever you all use to save Fido posts. I didn't get the whole thing on here and will have the rest of the interview later this weekend. Anyways here is the soon to be infamous Rob Sherman meets devious reporter slam-fest. Greg Dabbs ****************************************************************** All words within the parenthesis are my own comments. hehehe Taken from the August 8th issue of the Chicago Tribune Magazine... Cover of the magazine has a nice photo of Rob Sherman in a suit... the cover's title is "A Lonely Voice...The Mission of atheist (sic) Rob Sherman." At the bottom of the cover says" PLUS: Art in the flesh--colorful, creative tattoos." (Guess they had nothing better that week other than to bash Atheists and promote Skin art :-) (Anyways, onto the show...) title is entitled "Against All Gods - Rob Sherman's quest too keep church and state seperate" Author is Dennis (let's bash this Atheist) Rodkin. Length is h5 pages. By Dennis Rodkin " On a spring day seven years ago, 33-year-old office-supplies dealer named Rob Sherman was driving through Zion, a quiet lake front town near the Wisconsin border, and caught a glimpse of its municipal water tower. Paintaed on the tower was a cross. Sherman, who in his spare time was rnning the Northern Illinois chapter of American Atheists Inc., was surprised to find an overtly religious symbol decorating public property. It looked to him like a blatant snub of the constitutional (sic) principle of separation of church and state. When he got home to Buffalo Grove, Sherman made a round of phone calls that led him to the Zion city attorney, who said Sherman could bring up the question during the open-mike segment of a city council meeting the next night. But Sherman didn'tu want to go alone. "I phone some newpapers and TV stations," hesays. "I hoped I'd get a paragraph on page 37 some-where. Little did I know that the next night I would be the lead story on the 10 o'clock news." On a slow news day, April 1, 1986, a star was born. ******** page # 2 The little media storm that Sherman managed to kick up launched the Rob Sherman Show, his long-running multimedia atheist onslaught. ( Here is where I gotta say SPARE ME THIS CRAP). Since its debut at the Zion City Hall, the show has traveled to Rolling Meadows, Wauconda, Arlington Heights, Hickory Hills and a dozen other spots. This summer, it has featured episode in in South Barrington, Chicago and Evergreen Park. In June, Sherman made a rare appearance outside his usual territory when he orchestrated a small rally on the steps of the capitol in Little Rock, Ark., condemning a part of the Arkansas state constitution that forbids atheists from testifying in court or holding state office. Back on home turf later that month, he coached the atheist contestant in a no-holds-barred, two person debate on the question of God's existence. With the event taking place at Willow Creek Church, a mammoth Christian facility in South Barrington, the believers had a definite home-court advantage, and the atheists never had a prayer. Sherman is now juggling three separate cross-spurning campaigns. In the first, which he hatched in mid-May, he is urging Mayor Richard Daley to staunch the flow of free Chicago water to Churches. The second bears his familiar imprinIt: When southwestern suburban Evergreen Park flew banners celebating its centennial in June, word reached Sherman that the banners carried the village seal, which depicts, among other things, a cross. Sherman is now trying to use the weight of legal precedent--- precedent his own earlier cases established--- to get the town's seral changed The third campaign is typically quixotic, wih Sherman bearing down on National Football League admisirators in an affort to block the league's traditional support of United Way's/Crusade of Mercy, which funds the Boy Scouts, whose membership requirements include a belief in gods. In seven years, Sherman has transformed himself from an unknown, peddling office supplies in the Chicago suburbs, into the Midwest's best-known atheist activist and a lightning rod on the tangled question of separation of Church and State. As the national spokesperson for American Atheists, Inc., he has created for himself a bully pulpit that, although it doesn't pay very well, when it pays at all, sanctions Sherman's consuming itch to push his conviction that atheists belong to the only minority against which the government allows and even encourages discrimination. And by diligently cultivating press coverage of his appearances at municipal meetings, Sherman has made himself a media star. He has his own cable TV gig and used to have on on radio too, but the real Rob Sherman Show tis a traveling roadshow that he sets up at village board meeting, public forums and anti-Sherman events, on big time TV talk shows fronted by Oprah, Larry and Phil; and in countless interviews with reporters. Where Sherman goes, microphones follow. "There are literally hundreds of cases of state-church visolations all over the country" says Madeline Murray O'air, the plaintiff in the landmark, 1963 case against the Baltimore public schools that resulted in the end of prayer in schools. O'Hair runs American Atheists and its parent group, the Society of Separationsists, with two of her children in Austin, Tex. "We need to hammer away at them and that takes persistence," she says. "The legislators know, the media know, they all know that you shouldn't have these crosses and creches at City Hall. But Rob has the stamina to keep pushing at it and pushing at it." One of Sherman's former foes sees him differently "He does it all to see his name in the papers," says Howard Everline, a devout Christian who was the mayor of Zion when Sherman first started griping about crosses on the town's water towers in 1986. "Because he's an atheist, his life is empty, and he's trying to fill it up with the limelight. he's looking for glamor and excitement, just like what one old bat got for getting prayer out of public schools." Both sides ae right. ( Well this is as far as I've gotten for this weekend. This thing turned out to be a bit longer than I expected. Please SAVE this portion rand I will put up the other 2-3 pages in a week or so.)


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