- Following message extracted from AAOS @ 1:374/14 - By Christopher Baker on Wed May 03 14

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--- Following message extracted from AAOS @ 1:374/14 --- By Christopher Baker on Wed May 03 14:34:19 1995 Titusville, FL 407-264-2994 [FAXed to local Central FLorida media and cross-posted to FidoNet] From: Robin Murray-O'Hair To: All Date: 03 May 95 12:27:58 Subj: Atheists to Mark Nat. Day of Prayer [page 1] American Atheists, Inc. P O Box 140195, Austin, TX 78714-0195 Voice: (512) 458-1244 FAX: (512) 467-9525 BBS: (512) 302-0223 E-mail: postmaster@atheist.org AMERICAN ATHEISTS TO MARK NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER Atheist group will launch anti-school prayer project on May 4 "School prayer survivors" asked to tell their stories For Release: 3 May 1995 Instituted during the McCarthy era, the National Day of Prayer should be replaced by "Just Say No' to Religion Day," says American Atheists, the national organization of Atheists and nonbelievers. And to prove the point, the group is escalating its drive against school prayer legislation by launching THE PROBLEM WITH PRAYER PROJECT on May 4, the day set aside for public prayer. The National Day of Prayer was first established by Congress in 1952. This year, the National Day of Prayer Task Force has organized thousands of religious ceremonies on government property to mark the day. It has also adopted the theme of "Seek His Face" for its events -- a theme noted with irony by Atheists. "Don't these people know their own Bible?" asked Madalyn O'Hair, founder of American Atheists. "The god of the Jewish and Christian Bible specifically states that no man shall see his face -- just his rear end. Check Exodus 33:23. That's where this god moons Moses." "Advocates of religion in government are unwittingly demonstrating once again that prayer doesn't work," noted Jon G. Murray, president of American Atheists. "For example, they are wasting 72 hours in a Bible Read-A-Thon' on the steps of the U.S. Capitol. At the end of those three days, the U.S. Capitol will be exactly the same mess it was before. They should get up off their knees, stand on their feet, and face the nation's real problems." "There could be no more fitting time to launch a project to demonstrate the harm of school prayer than the day that the religious have orchestrated to have a public belittling of the Constitution's Bill of Rights and the principle of separation of state and church on which our nation was founded." [page 2] THE PROBLEM WITH PRAYER PROJECT is a call for Atheists and nonbelievers to give their true experiences with religion in the public schools for a presentation to the country's legislators. Not only "school prayer survivors" -- that is, former and current students -- but teachers and parents are being called to participate. American Atheists is asking for submissions of written accounts of Atheists who had to suffer through government-sanctioned religion in schools. These accounts will be reproduced in bound volumes and delivered to Congress to make the point that there is indeed a "problem with prayer." Copies will also be sent to all state legislatures considering school prayer or moment of silence legislation. THE PROBLEM WITH PRAYER PROJECT submission guidelines call for essays and testimonials from students, parents, teachers, and school administrators and employees on their experiences in public schools with prayers, moments of silence, baccalaureates, religious exercises or instruction, or other promotions of religion. Project materials note that these testimonies "will show the insulting and demeaning nature of forced religious observances." "Recent discussion of school prayer has been centered around what sort of prayers should be said, by whom they should be said, and when they should be said. We hope to bring the voice of the nation's 25 million Atheists -- approximately 10 percent of the population -- back into the discussion. And their answer will clearly demonstrate that the solution is to make official school time religion-free. It is time to enforce the school prayer decision at last, not undermine it," said Jon Murray. Submissions to the documentary project will be accepted until June 17, the 32nd anniversary of Murray vs. Curlett, the Supreme Court decision which held that recitation of the Lord's Prayer in the public schools is unconstitutional. The resulting compilation will be presented to members of the U.S. Congress after they return from their July 4 recess. American Atheists will place calls for participation in THE PROBLEM WITH PRAYER PROJECT through mail, on the American Atheist Television Forum (carried on 134 cable outlets), on the Dial-THE-ATHEIST information service (512-458-5731), on American Atheists' computer bulletin board service, and on the Internet. Individuals wishing to participate in THE PROBLEM WITH PRAYER PROJECT should contact American Atheists for a submission form at: THE PROBLEM WITH PRAYER PROJECT American Atheists, Inc. P O Box 2117 Austin, TX 78768-2117 Phone: (512) 458-1244 FAX: (512) 467-9525 E-mail: PWPP@atheist.org. For project materials and a submission orm, e-mail PWPP-INFO@atheist.org. On Fidonet, FREQ the file PWPP-INFO.TXT from 1:392/1006 * Two hands working do more than a thousand clasped in prayer * Origin: American Atheists Online (512) 302-0223 (1:382/1006.0) -30- PLEASE redistribute widely! Thanks. C.B.

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