Take the harris poll about 10 commandments which is now 47% Religious Wrong Fundies vs 40% secularists make them aware of your concerns and spread this message to your friends.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 17, 1999
Contact: Joseph Conn or Rob Boston at 202.466.3234
POLITICS, NOT PRINCIPLE, MOTIVATES HOUSE VOTES ON CHURCH-STATE LEGISLATION, CHARGES AMERICANS UNITED
WATCHDOG GROUP CRITICIZES SERIES OF 'PATENTLY UNCONSTITUTIONAL' AMENDMENTS TO JUVENILE JUSTICE BILL
A flurry of votes on church-state matters in the U.S. House of Representatives represents one of the most deplorable assaults on religious liberty in recent memory, according to Americans United for Separation of Church and State.
Within a 24-hour period, the House considered and passed four amendments to a juvenile justice bill (the Consequences for Juvenile Offenders Act of 1999, H.R. 1501), each in apparent conflict with religious freedom and the First Amendment.
"This outrageous display is one more sad example of religion being used
as a political football by members of Congress who obviously cannot find a real solution to a problem," said Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United. "Government-forced religion is never the answer; families need to be responsible for any religious education of their children, not government.
"Some members seem to think they can use the law to impose their
personal religious views on everyone," Lynn added. "In a pluralistic country like ours, that is flatly wrong."
The church-state riders were added to the juvenile justice bill, which has become a focal point for congressional reaction to the shooting tragedy at Columbine High School. The four amendments to H.R. 1501 in conflict with church-state separation include:
"The Supreme Court has already made clear that the posting of religious
texts such as the Ten Commandments in public schools is unconstitutional," added Lynn. "Clearly this vote is not about principle, it's about politics.
"If these amendments were to ultimately become law, they would be
challenged in court immediately," Lynn concluded. "This effort is patently unconstitutional. Congress should spend more time following the Ten Commandments and less time trying to exploit them for political purposes."
The House juvenile justice legislation under consideration follows Senate passage of a similar bill last month. Although the Senate did not consider a Ten Commandments provision, the Senate bill included memorial service and charitable choice provisions identical to those adopted by the House.
If the House passes this legislation, a compromise version would still need to be worked out with the Senate.
Americans United is a religious liberty watchdog group based in Washington, D.C. Founded in 1947, the organization represents 60,000 members and allied houses of worship in all 50 states.