Msg # 418
Date: 26 Oct 92 20:10:00
From: David Rice
Subj: Bend Over If You Love Bush
PID: RA 1.01
MSGID: 1:102/890 508aee24
With the 92 election looming, here is a brochure detailing exactly why
atheists or anyone who genuinely values separation of church and state,
should NOT vote for George Bush:
--------------------------begin quoted material--------------------------
''Can George Bush, with impunity, state that Atheists
should not be considered either citizens or patriots?''
The History of the Issue
When George Bush was campaigning for the presidency, as incumbent vice
president, one of his stops was in Chicago, Illinois, on August 27, 1987.
At O'Hare Airport he held a formal outdoor news conference. There
Robert I. Sherman, a reporter for the American Atheist news journal, fully
accredited by the state of Illinois and by invitation a participating
member of the press corps covering the national candidates had the following
exchange with then Vice President Bush.
Sherman: What will you do to win the votes
of the Americans who are Atheists?
Bush: I guess I'm pretty weak in the Atheist community.
Faith in god is important to me.
Sherman: Surely you recognize the equal citizenship and
patriotism of Americans who are Atheists?
Bush: No, I don't know that Atheists should be considered as citizens, nor
should they be considered patriots. This is one nation under God.
Sherman (somewhat taken aback): Do you support as a sound constitutional
principle the separation of state and church?
Bush: Yes, I support the separation of church
and state. I'm just not very high on Atheists.
On October 29, 1988, Mr. Sherman had a confrontation with Ed Murnane,
cochairman of the Bush-Quayle '88 Illinois campaign. This concerned a law-
suit Mr. Sherman had filed to stop the Community Consolidated School
District 21 (Chicago, Illinois, suburb) from forcing his first-grade Atheist
son to pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States "one nation under
God" (Bush's phrase). The following conversation took place.
Sherman: American Atheists filed the Pledge of Allegiance lawsuit
yesterday. Does the Bush campaign have an official response
to this filing?
Murnane: It's bullshit.
Sherman: What is bullshit?
Murnane: Everything that American Atheists does, Rob, is bullshit.
Sherman: Thank you for telling me what the official position of the
Bush campaign is on this issue.
Murnane: You're welcome
This suit, now in federal district court for over three years, is not
considered to be bullshit by the federal judge before whom it is pending.
During the time it has been in the federal court, Robert Sherman's son, now
age nine, has been physically and psychologically brutalized in his school
for refusing to pledge to a "nation under God."
After Bush's election but before his taking office, American Atheists
wrote to Bush asking that he consider being sworn into office on the
Constitution instead of the Bible and also asking him to retract his
August 1987 statement. Bush had his White House buddy, C. Boyden Gray,
counsel to the president, reply on White House stationery on February 21,
1989, stating that substantively Bush stood by his original statement.
"As you are aware, the President is a religious man who neither supports
atheism nor believes that atheism should be unnecessarily encouraged or
supported by the government."
American Atheists had not asked Bush to either "unnecessarily" or even
"necessarily" encourage or support them. All they wanted was an apology for
the insult. Many Atheists wrote to Bush over the issue and Nelson Lund, the
associate counsel to the president, found it necessary to reply on April 7,
1989, directly to the American Atheist General Headquarters, Inc. This
from the White House said that Mr. Gray was adhering to his statements in the
February 21, 1989, letter. On May 4, 1989, Jon Murray, the president of
American Atheists, again wrote to President Bush demanding a clarification
of and an apology for his statement that Atheists "should not be considered
citizens, nor should they be considered patriots." Bush ignored the letter,
as did Gray and Lund. Mr. Murray also asked for an appointment so that a
group of representatives of American Atheists could meet with Bush.
Mr. Joseph W. Hagin 11 responded on May 25, 1989, again on White House
stationery. He stated that the president "appreciated your taking the time
to write and your willingness to share your thoughts" but that "due to heavy
commitments on his official calendar" the president could not meet with
representatives of American Atheists. On January 9, 1990, George Bush, in
signing a proclamation for the Martin Luther King holiday, had the gall to
remark that "bigots" must be brought to justice. Again, American Atheists
threw his words back in his face, asking what his designation of Atheists
as being unworthy of citizenship was. On February 5, 1990, Mr. Nelson Lund
replied again on White House stationery--stating
"We believe that our position has been adequately explained in
Indeed it has and that position is that George Bush is a bigot.
On February 21, 1990, American Atheists wrote to every member of the
United States Congress asking that body to pass a resolution condemning
discrimination against Atheists by any elected or appointed official of
government. The offered resolution read:
No person in public life may be free to impugn the patriotism of any
minority group because of that group's opinion in respect to religion.
President George Bush is herewith censured for his public expression
of August 27, 1987, at which time he stated: "I don't know that Athe-
ists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered
patriots. This is one nation under God."
You don't need to guess how many senators and representatives answered
that letter: there were none. At this point, American Atheists sent a list of
the members of Congress to all of its membership and asked each one to write
or telephone their congressmen. Hundreds of angry letters and telephone
calls were received at the American Atheist GHQ during the next several
months as it became obvious that the elected Congress was composed entirely
politicians too damn yellow to challenge Bush. In just one campaign incident,
American Atheists was able to teach thousands of the nation's top-notch
citizens that their government did not give a damn about them. This exercise
added appreciably to the malcontentedness in the nation and rightly so.
American Atheists then sent every single columnist in the United States a
packet of information-- from Pat Buchanan to Jim Fain. Only one was
courageous enough to write a lengthy article on the matter: Tom Tiede. And
the newspapers in which Tiede was syndicated did print his column taking the
president to task. A little later, the CNN feature program "Larry King Live"
broadcast a quarter-hour interview with Mr. Robert Sherman, as he detailed
the perfidy of President Bush.
When George Bush appeared on the campus of the University of Texas on
May 19, 1990, American Atheists placed a full-page advertisement in the
Austin American-Statesman detailing the above and demanding an apology and
an explanation. The founders of American Atheists, a thirty-year-old
organization, are both honorably discharged veterans: Richard E O'Hair,
U.S. Marines (totally and permanently disabled); and Madalyn O'Hair, Women's
Army Corps. Both served in World War II.
On December 23, 1990, in Chicago, Illinois Mr. Robert Sherman met with
Ed Derwinski, the secretary of the Department of Veteran's Affairs, to
discuss exclusion of American Atheists from veteran's groups which have
been chartered by the United States Congress. Mr. Derwinski said he would do
"absolutely nothing" about the discrimination. On January 3, Mr. Sherman
crossed paths with Ed Derwinski again at the Illinois inaugurations. He
asked Mr. Derwinski, at that time, what American Atheists could do to have
the Bush administration take an interest in the problem of discrimination
against American Atheist veterans. Mr. Derwinski's response was:
"What you should do for me is what you should do for everybody:
Believe in God. Get off our backs."
When Mr. Sherman was in Washington, D.C., on another issue on March 20,
1991, he again met with Mr. Derwinski, who, on this occasion, shouted that
the Atheists should "get off his back," that the Bush administration would
do nothing for them, and that they would need to "sue" to end discrimination
To add pointed insult to injury, the City of Chicago Commission on Human
Rights refused to permit American Atheist Veterans to appear as a group in
the Fourth of July "Welcome Home" parade for the veterans of Desert Storm
in that city.
In the corridors of American history, Atheists have loomed large: Clarence
Darrow, Margaret Sanger, Mark Twain, Henry Ford, Andrew Carnegie, Albert
Einstein, California's Governor Culbert L. Olson, Thomas Edison, the great
botanist Luther Burbank, and James Smithson, founder of the Smithsonian
Institution. The list is long.
American Atheists ask that you write to George Bush, President of the
United States, at The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington,
D.C. 20500 and ask him for an apology to this group which comprises
9 percent of the population.
Copies of this brochure (order #8286) are available at the cost
of ten cents each from:
American Atheist Veterans
7215 Cameron Road, Austin TX 78752
--------------------------end of quoted material--------------------------
Wayne Aiken "You can BE what
PO Box 30904 firstname.lastname@example.org you WON'T!!"
Raleigh, NC 27622 --"Bob"
(919) 782-8171 StarFleet BBS: (919) 782-3095
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