ADL CALLS ON CONGRESS TO UPHOLD RELIGIOUS LIBERTY
AND REJECT "RELIGIOUS EQUALITY AMENDMENT"
New York, NY, May 17, 1995...The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today called
on Congress to reject a proposed "Religious Equality Amendment,"
a central feature of the Christian Coalition's proposed Contract With the
"We believe Congress and the American people will not be fooled by
a destructive constitutional amendment with an appealing name," said
David H. Strassler, ADL National Chairman, and Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National
Director. "This proposed amendment is nothing more than a cleverly-packaged
effort to overturn numerous Supreme Court precedents on prayer in schools
and church-state separation."
"We understand that many who advocate school prayer see it as a means
of addressing a perceived moral vacuum in our society. We support teaching
American children moral values, but one such value must be respect for our
differences. In a pluralistic, religiously and ethnically diverse society,
no matter how troubled, a constitutional amendment on school prayer is not
the answer," said Strassler and Foxman.
Last month the Anti-Defamation League joined a broad interreligious coalition
of 35 groups in releasing "A Joint Statement of Current Law" on
religion in the public schools.
"Religion and religious views have not been banned from public school
classrooms," said Strassler and Foxman. "The document released
last month -- ironically signed by some of these same groups that are now
publicly advocating a new constitutional amendment -- demonstrates clearly
that there is no need for a constitutional amendment on school prayer or
public religious expression.
"Indeed, this proposed constitutional amendment would threaten religious
liberty by eroding the essential separation between church and state."
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.