, 2000

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JUNE 28, 1999  4:18 PM
Americans United for Separation of Church & State
Joseph Conn or Rob Boston
Prayer Resolution Shows House Hopelessly Adrift'; House Should End Political Crusade Cloaked In Religion
WASHINGTON - June 28 - Days after passing a measure encouraging public schools and governments to post the Ten Commandments, the House of Representatives is poised to debate a proposal calling on the American people to engage in prayer, fasting and humiliation.

"Obviously, the House of Representatives is hopelessly adrift," said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State. "Our nation faces serious problems, but all the House can offer are pious platitudes and meaningless resolutions."

H.Con.Res.94, introduced by Rep. Helen Chenoweth (R-Idaho), asserts that the country has rejected God's love and calls on the state and local governments to "observe a day of solemn prayer, fasting and humiliation before God."

Continued Lynn, "It's not surprising that the House is considering calling for a national day of prayer and 'humiliation.' Many Americans are already humiliated by the nonsense coming from the House and are praying that members of Congress move on to real issues."

The measure has 30 cosponsors, including Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-Texas) and Majority Whip Tom DeLay (R-Texas).

Observed Lynn, "The real news for the backers of this measure is that our country is one of the most religious on earth. The American people know when and how to pray. The last thing we need are political demagogues masquerading as spiritual leaders.

"Calling people to prayer and worship is the job of our houses of worship," Lynn said. "If the House has nothing better to do than stomp all over religion's turf, then it's time for them to take a long summer vacation. We can only hope that when they come back, they will have lost the urge to exploit religion for misguided political crusades and cheap points on some right-wing 'voters scorecard.'"

Americans United is a religious liberty watchdog group based in Washington, D.C. Founded in 1947, the organization represents 60,000 members in all 50 states.


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