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Concerning the National Day of Prayer event at the Texas State Capitol to occur May 4th

Press release issued: May 1, 2006

The National Day of Prayer is a blatant violation of the establishment clause of the first amendment to the US Constitution. Official promotion and recognition of a religious activity (prayer) is an establishment of religion. This illegal activity is especially odious when it is done so publicly and with apparent endorsement by the state of Texas and its elected leadership, as will be happening on May 4th at the Texas State Capitol building. The National Day of Prayer event is clearly about religious favoritism and political pandering-both are at odds with democracy, diversity, and religious freedom.

To draw attention to this mockery of our Constitution and American ideals, the Atheist Community of Austin will be protesting the National Day of Prayer event at the Texas State Capitol. The protest will be on the South side of the capitol on May 4, 2006 at noon to 1:00 pm. Our protest will be a peaceful exercise of our first amendment rights without religious favoritism. The media is invited to compare the legal event we are hosting to the illegal one we are protesting.

We encourage others, who are concerned about their religious freedoms, including freedom from religion, to join us in making people aware of the importance of church-state separation. We especially encourage those of minority religions to join us.

The Atheist Community of Austin is organized as a nonprofit educational corporation to develop and support the atheist community, to provide opportunities for socializing and friendship, to promote secular viewpoints, to encourage positive atheist culture, to defend the first amendment principle of state-church separation, to oppose discrimination against atheists and to work with other organizations in pursuit of common goals. For more information about the Atheist Community of Austin, or to read our position on the National Day of Prayer, see our web site at http://www.atheist-community.org or call 512-371-2911 (voice mail).

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