--- 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
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
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
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
"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."
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
"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
THE PROBLEM WITH PRAYER PROJECT
American Atheists, Inc.
P O Box 2117
Austin, TX 78768-2117
Phone: (512) 458-1244 FAX: (512) 467-9525
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)
PLEASE redistribute widely! Thanks. C.B.