By: Robin Murray-o'hair Re: Re: AGA/Nat. Day of Prayer American Gay Atheists, Inc. America

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By: Robin Murray-o'hair Re: Re: AGA/Nat. Day of Prayer American Gay Atheists, Inc. American Gay & Lesbian Atheists P O Box 66711 Houston, TX 77266-6711 PRESS RELEASE CHRISTIAN TERRORISTS TO HOLD U.S. HOSTAGE ON MAY 4; ATHEISTS CALL FOR A "JUST SAY 'NO!' TO RELIGION DAY" April 26, 1995 For Release: The week prior to or including May 4, 1995 Contact Person: Don Sanders, 713-863-9537 The leader of the nation's largest Atheist group catering specifically to the needs and concerns of gay and lesbian Atheists is calling upon freedom-loving persons in the United States to make themselves aware of this year's upcoming NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER in which right-wing Christian groups will hold prayer vigils and religious ceremonies at city halls around the nation. According to Don Sanders, national director of American Gay and Lesbian Atheists, National Day of Prayer "is yet another religious event which stems from the red-baiting, queer-hunting days of the 1950s when right-wing Senator Joseph McCarthy destroyed the lives of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of good Americans. Today's Christo-fascists wish to have us return to those 'good old days,' " notes Sanders. Sanders also states emphatically that "Just as patriotic, white Christian males have become blatant terrorists (in reference to the bombing of the Federal Building in Oklahoma City), those who sponsor the National Day of Prayer are just as dangerous as they are _constitutional terrorists_ who are trying to subvert our secular form of government and turn it into a theocracy." It was during 1952 that Congress passed a joint resolution, signed by President Truman, establishing the National Day of Prayer. Then in 1988, as a last hurrah to an overly zealous religious presidency, President Reagan permanently set the day as the first Thursday in May. This day has become a rallying point to force local, state, and federal governments to supplicate to religious intimidation. For the past several years, American Gay & Lesbian Atheists, its members, friends, and supporters, have demonstrated at Houston's participation in National Day of Prayer ceremonies on the grounds that such an event, sponsored and sanctioned by the mayor and other appointed and elected officials, violates the First Amendment's call for separatio between state and church. Last year, Houston Mayor Bob Lanier used the power and prestige of his secular office to urge "all citizens" of the fourth largest city in the nation, a city with a diverse make-up of cultures, peoples and religions, to engage in Christian prayer. The JUST SAY "NO!" TO RELIGION DAY activities will coincide with th National Day of Prayer ceremonies to be held at the steps of Houston Cit Hall, 901 Bagby Street, in downtown Houston in front of the Reflecting Pool. As with all AGLA protests, this one, too, will be peaceful. It is important that elected and appointed representatives know that state and church should not be mixed and that all citizens of the city, state, and nation are not Christians, do not wish to be Christians, and most importantly, do not wish to be told we need to pray and engage in purely sectarian exercises to solve problems. Those interested in participating in JUST SAY "NO!" TO RELIGION DAY are urged to arrive at the east side of the City Hall Reflecting Pool on Thursday, May 4, between 11:30 and 11:45 A.M. Signs will be provided or bring your own, provided they are in good taste. American Gay & Lesbian Atheists is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) educational foundation dedicated to keeping state and church separate an educating the public, and gay men and lesbians specifically, that "Religion is the Problem, Not the Solution." ************************************************************** Text prepared and distributed by American Atheist Online Services, P O Box 140195, Austin, TX 78714-0195. Voice: (512) 458-1244. BBS: (512) 302-0223. Email: info@atheist.org This text may be freely downloaded, reprinted, and/other otherwise redistributed, provided appropriate point of origin credit is given to American Atheist Online Services.

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