50 years of freedom.Barry Lynn-Oliver North Debate, TV Personalities, Members Of Congress Top Program At Americans United Anniversary Conference, Gala
It was a time for celebration and reflection, study and debate about the role of church-state separation in America.
Nearly 400 people from around the country converged on the Hotel Washington in Washington, D.C., Nov. 1-3 for the 50th Anniversary Americans United National Conference on Church and State.
Focusing on the theme "Fifty Years of Freedom," participants attended a gala awards dinner and discussed a half century of education and advocacy by Americans United for Separation of Church and State Americans United for Separation of Church and State (Americans United or AU for short) is a religious freedom advocacy group in the United States which promotes the separation of church and state, a legal doctrine seen by the AU as being enshrined in the Establishment , as well as the serious threats facing religious liberty today.
When a group of prominent religious, educational and civic leaders met in Chicago Nov. 20, 1947, and agreed to form Americans United, they could not have known that a then-heated debate over church-state separation would be raging even hotter five decades later.
That conflict was dramatically presented at the conference in a spirited exchange between Americans United Executive Director Barry W. Lynn Reverend Barry W. Lynn (born 1948 in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania) has been the Executive Director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State since 1992. and Religious Right stalwart Oliver North Oliver Laurence North (born October 7 1943 in San Antonio, Texas) is most well known for his involvement in the Iran-Contra Affair. Currently, he is an American conservative political commentator, host of "War Stories with Oliver North" on Fox News Channel. . Trading jabs at the Ebba Meyer Memorial Conference Session, Lynn and North disagreed sharply about the place of religion in American government and society.
Pulitzer Prize-winning Chicago Tribune Chicago Tribune
Daily newspaper published in Chicago. The Tribune is one of the leading U.S. newspapers and long has been the dominant voice of the Midwest. Founded in 1847, it was bought in 1855 by six partners, including Joseph Medill (1823–99), who made the paper columnist and television commentator Clarence Page Clarence Page (born June 2, 1947) is a journalist, syndicated columnist and member of the editorial board for the Chicago Tribune.
He is an occasional panelist on The McLaughlin Group, a regular contributor of essays to NewsHour with Jim Lehrer moderated the exchange. The thrust of the debate, he said, would be, "Is religious liberty under siege more today than it was 50 years ago?"
North, a radio talk show host and Christian Coalition Christian Coalition, organization founded to advance the agenda of political and social conservatives, mostly comprised of evangelical Protestant Republicans, and to preserve what it deems traditional American values. favorite, said his short answer to the question is "yes." He charged that religion, especially Christianity, is being discriminated against and excluded by the courts, the public schools and other influential forces in society.
Holding up a copy of the U.S. Constitution, he insisted that the Bill of Rights was written by men such as James Madison and George Mason who were religious and studied at seminary. Insisted North, "I can find in those glowing words, again written by Madison and Mason, absolutely no provision whatsoever for the separation of church and state
"I would submit to you," charged North, "that religious freedom in this country is gravely jeopardized by legislators, by the Hollywood media types, by folks that are colleagues of Clarence's and mine - since now I are the media I can say that. But I believe that what we find today is that those who believe strongly in their religious heritage and the belief that we are allowed to express it, that the courts and legislators are altogether too willing to intervene to prohibit it."
He cited U.S. v. Casey, a Supreme Court decision that prohibits anti-abortion activists from praying and picketing immediately outside clinics that perform abortions. He also cited the controversy over Judge Roy Moore's posting of the Ten Commandments Ten Commandments or Decalogue [Gr.,=ten words], in the Bible, the summary of divine law given by God to Moses on Mt. Sinai. They have a paramount place in the ethical system in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. in his Gadsden, Ala., courtroom.
North complained because a Federal Election Commission attorney grilled him as a witness in the FEC-Christian Coalition lawsuit investigation about whether TV preacher Pat Robertson Marion Gordon "Pat" Robertson (born March 22 1930) is a televangelist from the United States. He is the founder of numerous organizations and corporations, including the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN), had prayed for him during his race for the U.S. Senate seat from Virginia.
"I give you that as an exhibit of how the government no longer acknowledges the constitutionally protected but God-given right to worship as we please," he concluded.
But Lynn, an attorney and United Church of Christ United Church of Christ, American Protestant denomination formed in 1957 by a merger of the General Council of Congregational Christian Churches (see Congregationalism) and the Evangelical and Reformed Church. minister, argued that religion and freedom of conscience are both flourishing in America today, thanks to the separation of church and state enforced by the courts.
Since the Supreme Court's landmark 1947 Everson v. Board of Education Everson v. Board of Education, 330 U.S. 1 (1947) was the seminal United States Supreme Court case in Establishment Clause law in the United States. In addition to incorporating the Establishment Clause (applying it to the States through the Due Process Clause decision emphasizing church-state separation, said Lynn, religious belief and practice have not suffered. He derided North's claim that religion is being squelched squelch
v. squelched, squelch·ing, squelch·es
1. To crush by or as if by trampling; squash.
2. in America.
Citing Princeton Research Center polls, Lynn noted, "In 1947 when this organization was founded, a whopping 90 percent of Americans said they prayed regularly. Fifty years later in 1997 a mere 90 percent say the same thing. Fifty years ago 41 percent of Americans went to church frequently and today that percentage has plummeted to 41 percent. In 1947 95 percent of all Americans believed in God. After 50 years of cultural warfare against heaven itself, 96 percent believe in God....It looks like religion in America
Lynn cited data that public schools in most communities are doing a good job. High school graduation rates are at an all-time high and many studies show American students are learning at high levels. He also noted that women and minorities have many more opportunities today than in the past, making for a more moral society.
The Lynn-North debate ranged through such disparate issues as religious symbols in government buildings, the Christian Coalition's activities and the proper role of religion in politics. About the only point of agreement was private school vouchers school vouchers, government grants aimed at improving education for the children of low-income families by providing school tuition that can be used at public or private schools. .
Although most Religious Right groups support such aid to religious schools enthusiastically, North did not. "The idea of vouchers is a terrible idea," he observed. "Vouchers come with the tentacles of the federal government attached to them, and I just don't believe that the federal government ought to be doing it." (He favors tax credits to subsidize tuition at religious and other private schools instead.)
Questioners from the skeptical audience grilled North about his commitment to freedom for non-Christian religious expression. A Rochester, N.Y., woman who identified herself as a pagan asked North if his support for Judge Moore's Ten Commandments display meant he would support her right to post the Wiccan Rede The Wiccan Rede (pronounced "reed") is a saying that was formulated to sum up the ethics of the neo-Pagan religion Wicca. The most common form of the rede is An it harm none, do what ye will. [a religious code for witches] on her courtroom wall if she were a judge.
"No," replied North curtly. When the crowd jeered, North added, "I believe that this country's whole premise going back to the seminal documents of this country were based on Judeo-Christian principles, and you don't have to like it but they were."
Lynn said the Religious Right wants to interfere in the personal decisions of families and individuals. "I don't want people meddling med·dle
intr.v. med·dled, med·dling, med·dles
1. To intrude into other people's affairs or business; interfere. See Synonyms at interfere.
2. To handle something idly or ignorantly; tamper. in my moral choices," said Lynn. "I don't think you can have a moral culture unless you have the ability to make choices. I'm afraid that Col. North, in many of the speeches he's given, has demonstrated that he would like to reduce the choices many Americans have. I don't believe that's the direction in which we should go."
A roundtable discussion about public schools, moderated by ABC News
ABC News is a division of American television and radio network ABC, owned by The Walt Disney Company. Its current president is David Westin. law correspondent Tim O'Brien Tim O'Brien can refer to:
Noun 1. separationist - an advocate of secession or separation from a larger group (such as an established church or a national union)
separatist position was argued by U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler Jerrold Lewis Nadler, sometimes called Jerry Nadler (born June 13, 1947) is an American politician from New York City. A liberal Democrat, Nadler represents New York's 8th congressional district, which includes parts of Manhattan and Brooklyn in New York City. (D-N.Y.), American Civil Liberties Union American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), nonpartisan organization devoted to the preservation and extension of the basic rights set forth in the U.S. Constitution. President Nadine Strossen Nadine Strossen (born August 18, 1950) is the current president of the American Civil Liberties Union. She is the first woman and the youngest person to ever lead the ACLU. A professor at New York Law School, Professor Strossen also sits on the Council on Foreign Relations. , Baptist Joint Committee attorney J. Brent Walker, South Carolina South Carolina, state of the SE United States. It is bordered by North Carolina (N), the Atlantic Ocean (SE), and Georgia (SW). Facts and Figures
Area, 31,055 sq mi (80,432 sq km). Pop. (2000) 4,012,012, a 15. Americans United Chapter President Sharon Robles Robles is a common surname in the Spanish language meaning oaks, and may refer to:
Arguing for the Religious Right perspective were U.S. Rep. Ernest J. Istook (R-Okla.), Andrea Sheldon of the Traditional Values Coalition The Traditional Values Coalition is a Christian Right organization that claims to represent over 43,000 conservative Christian churches throughout the United States of America. Headquartered in Washington, D.C. , attorney Craig Parshall and James Henderson James Henderson may refer to:
The building's main use is that of a typical office tower. It also includes a parking garage and retail spaces. for Law and Justice.
In his 20 years of covering the Supreme Court, O'Brien said church-state cases have been the most divisive. They are, he asserted "not only the most difficult but also the most interesting."
As might be expected, much of the debate centered around Rep. Istook's proposed "Religious Freedom Amendment" (H.J. Res. 78).
Istook said he and others who crafted his amendment have "reverence and sensitivity" for both minorities and the majority. "The text is filled," he said, "with references of protections for individual rights and the rights of conscience." Istook charged that the amendment is necessary because religion is being unfairly excluded from public schools and other public places as if it were a "contagion Contagion
The likelihood of significant economic changes in one country spreading to other countries. This can refer to either economic booms or economic crises.
An infamous example is the "Asian Contagion" that occurred in 1997 and started in Thailand. ." He said the opportunity for prayer in classrooms is denied even if no one objects.
The ACLU's Strossen said Istook's analysis is incorrect. "The whole purpose of the First Amendment," she said, "was to protect dissenting individuals, to prevent the tyranny of the majority The phrase tyranny of the majority, used in discussing systems of democracy and majority rule, is a criticism of the scenario in which decisions made by a majority under that system would place that majority's interests so far above a minority's interest as to be comparable in over the minority." She reminded the audience that "prayer is allowed in the public schools so long as it is not government-sponsored prayer."
Nadler said Istook "is defining his amendment to mean nothing except the status quo [Latin, The existing state of things at any given date.] Status quo ante bellum means the state of things before the war. The status quo to be preserved by a preliminary injunction is the last actual, peaceable, uncontested status which preceded the pending controversy. ." In fact, the New York New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of congressman charged the proposal would have "pernicious" effects, allowing coercive prayer in schools, religious displays at government buildings and tax support for religious schools and other ministries.
Nadler said when he was in public school the Bible was read daily over the public address system. As a Jew, he felt uncomfortable when the New Testament was read, but neither he nor his classmates Classmates can refer to either:
"Mr. Istook's amendment," he said, "would reestablish that coercion." The First Amendment was intended, asserted Nadler, to require government neutrality about religion.
TVC TVC Traditional Values Coalition
TVC Televisió de Catalunya (Catalan Public Broadcasting Company, Catalonia, Spain)
TVC Television Commercial
TVC Thrust Vector Control
TVC Texas Veterans Commission
TVC Total Variable Cost activist Sheldon responded, "What do you mean by neutrality? What we're finding is neutrality means throwing out morality, throwing out principal beliefs."
The ACLJ's Henderson said his "sainted saint·ed
1. Having been canonized.
2. Of saintly character; holy.
1. formally recognized by a Christian Church as a saint
2. grandfather hated" Americans United for its opposition to Catholic school aid in St. Louis in the 1940s. The ultimate solution to the debates over religion in the schools, the Pat Robertson attorney insisted, is to allow parents to use tax money to send their children to any school "which is coordinate with their religious beliefs."
"That's not the situation now; you all have helped to make it that way," said Henderson, "and I'll just keep fighting until we get that kind of equality."
Parshall charged that church-state separation is a court-created concept. "In 1947," he charged, "the Supreme Court took the concept of separation of church and state - that had only been mentioned once before in one Supreme Court decision - and imbedded it in by judicial fiat and since that time we had to live with I'm afraid a long history of confused and very poor jurisprudence from the Supreme Court."
Walker, a Baptist minister as well as an attorney, countered that the separation concept has a long history in the United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area. , far predating Supreme Court decisions and even the drafting of the First Amendment.
'Those words [separation of church and state] are not in the Constitution," he said. "They came up 150 years before that when my Baptist forebear fore·bear also for·bear
A person from whom one is descended; an ancestor. See Synonyms at ancestor.
[Middle English forbear : fore-, fore- + beer, Roger Williams...talked about the hedge or wall of separation between the garden of the church and the wilderness of the world. And it went forward from there. And Jefferson adopted it, and Madison adopted it. And eventually the Supreme Court adopted it in the late 19th century and used that phrase time and time again as a convenient metaphor to describe the idea that religion and government are better off in the long run - and most of the time in the short run - if they leave one another alone."
In addition to debates, the Americans United conference also featured educational panels and training sessions. Here are some of the highlights:
Emerging Church-State Issues
Three civil liberties activists addressed the conference on ways to fight Religious Right initiatives.
Cecile Richards of the Texas Freedom Network advised attendees on how to block voucher subsidies for religious and other private schools.
The voucher drive, she suggested, is part of a larger Religious Right crusade against public schools. "Despite their long-standing obsession with gays and abortion," Richards observed, "I think it's fair to say over the past three years the focus of the Religious Right in Texas has been on public education, both electorally and in their public policy initiatives."
Richards said vouchers were defeated in the Texas legislature by the narrowest of margins (a 68-68 tie vote in the House). The anti-voucher forces won against heavy odds by forming a broadly based coalition of groups to share information and coordinate efforts, identifying key legislative districts for intensive grassroots lobbying and educating news media outlets in key communities.
She said they packed legislative hearings with parents, clergy and other interested citizens, set up a fax/e-mail system to get information out to activists quickly, sought help from organizations representing African-Americans, Latinos and other minorities and relied on an opinion poll-tested message.
Richards said vouchers violate church-state separation, but that wasn't the message that worked with the general public. Texans responded instead, she observed, to the warning that vouchers take money away from public schools and are a way of abandoning the public school system.
Richards called for greater religious community involvement in the fight for public schools and First Amendment freedoms. "The Religious Right cannot continue to be the exclusive faith-based voice in the country," she insisted. "If we mobilize our clergy as well to stand up with us on issues of separation of church and state and public education, they won't be."
A second "emerging issues" panelist was Megan Day of the Citizens Project, a Colorado Springs, Colo.-based civil liberties group. Day explained how a coalition of organizations successfully battled a "parental rights" initiative on the Colorado ballot. The keys, she said, were developing a clear and persuasive message through polling and building a diverse coalition of opponents.
The third panelist was the Anti-Defamation League's Michael Lieberman, who analyzed so-called "charitable choice" measures, legislation pushed by U.S. Sen. John Ashcroft (R-Mo.) and others that would allow houses of worship to receive public funds to operate welfare and other social service programs.
"We will argue," said Lieberman, "that charitable choice is unconstitutional, is bad public policy and is bad for religion."
The Religious Right And Religious And Social Minorities
The Religious Right's crusade in America would likely have its greatest negative effects on religious, social and racial minorities. A panel of representatives from those communities tackled that prospect at the AU conference.
The Rev. Dr. Ronald Nakasone, a Buddhist priest, said he was encouraged by his congregation to become active in church-state issues in the 1980s when President Ronald Reagan proposed a constitutional amendment on school prayer that threatened the rights of minority faiths.
Since then, his concerns have escalated as Religious Right-endorsed attacks on minorities and immigrants have increased. He singled out Pat Robertson and South Carolina State School Board member Henry Jordan for their vituperative assaults on Buddhists and people of other non-Christian faiths.
"Whether we like it or not - whether they like it or not - the Muslims, the Buddhists, the Confucians, the Shintos are all now part of the American religious world," observed Nakasone, a professor at the Pacific School of Religion. Citing the writing of a Buddhist scholar, he called for "compassionate dialogue" to help opponents of pluralism "renounce fanaticism Fanaticism
See also Extremism.
various sects preaching a return to life before the fall. [Christian Hist.: Brewer Note-Book, 8]
Moslem murder teams used hashish as stimulus (11th and 12th centuries). and narrowness."
Shabbir Mansuri of the Council on Islamic Education praised the American political system for its openness. He and his group work to ensure that Islam is treated fairly and accurately in public school textbooks, a project that rankles some Religious Right activists.
In the interests of communication, Mansuri met with Texas textbook crusaders Mel and Norma Gabler Melvin Nolan Freeman Gabler (January 5 1915 - December 19 2004) and his wife, Norma Elizabeth Rhodes Gabler (June 16 1923 - July 22 2007) were campaigners against public school textbooks which they regarded as "anti-family" or "anti-Christian". . Concluding that as a Muslim he was going to hell, the Gablers prayed for him three times during a five-hour meeting and arranged for their pastor to try to persuade Mansuri to convert to Christianity.
"I simply said, 'we agree to disagree Agree to disagree or "agreeing to disagree" describes or refers to a situation where two or more people or groups of people resolve conflict by reaching an agreement whereby both sides tolerate but do not accept the views, opinions or position of the other side. ,'" Mansuri recalled. "But we must respect each other; that's all I'm asking."
Loretta Ross, of the Center for Human Rights Education in Atlanta, said African-Americans must be particularly wary of the Religious Right because many of its leaders are advancing a "carefully disguised" racism.
Ross noted that ex-Klansman David Duke's 1979 campaign platform in Louisiana - opposition to affirmative action affirmative action, in the United States, programs to overcome the effects of past societal discrimination by allocating jobs and resources to members of specific groups, such as minorities and women. , immigrants, welfare and "reverse discrimination" - is now public policy in our country.
Today, she said, the Religious Right is waging war on public schools, abortion rights and civil rights for gay people. "They are united in their attempt to impose their version of Christianity on the rest of us in society," Ross observed, "and they take advantage of the fact that most Americans feel we have lost our moral compass in life."
Ross said progressive groups should rally around "human rights" for everyone as a moral response to the Religious Right.
The Rev. Meg Riley, director of the Washington, D.C., office of the Unitarian Universalist Association Unitarian Universalist Association, Protestant church in the United States formed in 1961 by the merger of the American Unitarian Association (see Unitarianism) and the Universalist Church of America. , tackled the issue of homophobia. Riley said she and others in the gay community believe homosexuality is being used as a "wedge issue."
"It's really important," said Riley, "that everyone in Americans United understand that the Religious Right is exploiting our discomfort with sexuality in general and homosexuality specifically in order to foster fear and build a political movement."
The last panel discussion at the conference focused on "The Future of the Constitution." It featured New York University School of Law professor Norman Dorsen, writer Daniel Lazare and the Free Congress Foundation's Thomas L. Jipping. The New York University School of Law (NYU Law) is the law school of New York University. Established in 1835, the school offers the J.D., LL.M., and J.S.D.
Lazare argued for a radical rewriting of the Constitution to bring about more direct democracy, while Jipping favored a conservative reading of the document, attacking inconsistent high court verdicts on the wall of separation between church and state.
Dorsen, former president of the ACLU ACLU: see American Civil Liberties Union. , said he fears the Supreme Court may have passed the high point of separationist decisions. "The most recent decisions," he observed, "all seem to go the wrong way."
In addition to educational panels, Americans United conference attendees also participated in legislative training by AU Legislative Counsel Julie Segal and States Legislative Coordinator Reese Aaron Isbell.
Faith Groups Associate Cedric Harmon arranged a clergy breakfast that featured remarks by newly elected Americans United President Dr. C. Welton Gaddy, pastor of Northminster Church, Monroe, La.
Harmon and AU Chapters Associate Nathan Rickard also conducted AU chapter training sessions, while AU Development Director Majorie Spitz spitz
Any of several northern dogs, including the chow chow, Pomeranian, and Samoyed, characterized by a dense, long coat, erect pointed ears, and a tail that curves over the back. In the U.S. and Assistant Development Director Carter Paige offered fund-raising training.
Americans United Legal Director Steven K. Green led a special education course for 60 law and theology students from around the country. Lecturers included Green, AU's Lynn, Derek Davis of Baylor University, Doug Laycock of the University of Texas and R. Laurence Moore of Cornell University.
The AU conference itself was organized by Stacey Mink, Special Events Coordinator.
"The Americans United anniversary conference and gala were truly magnificent events," said AU Executive Director Lynn. "We not only celebrated a remarkable first 50 years, but also prepared for the decades ahead. Americans United is ready to greet the 21st century and all its challenges."
Audiotapes of many Americans United Conference sessions are available. See information on page 19.
RELATED ARTICLE: AMERICAN UNITED LEADERS CHOSEN
In addition to the 50th anniversary celebration, speeches, workshops and other regular events, the Americans United National Conference featured an organizational business session. Among the items on November's agenda was the selection of a new president, two new members of the Board of Trustees board of trustees Politics The posse of thugs who oversee an institution's administration. See Board of directors. and ten new members of the National Advisory Council.
Dr. C. Welton Gaddy was elected president of the organization, succeeding the Rev. Cal Didier, retired pastor of the House of Hope Presbyterian Church in St. Paul, Minn.
Gaddy, 56, is pastor of Northminster Church in Monroe, La. A Baptist minister and television commentator, he is the author of more than 20 books, including Faith and Politics: What's a Christian to Do?.
"Church-state separation is essential to protecting the religious freedom of all Americans," observed Gaddy. "I am proud and deeply honored to have the opportunity to help preserve the freedom guaranteed by the First Amendment. Keeping a wholesome distance between the institutions of government and religion benefits both."
Gaddy has been active in Americans United since 1971, most recently serving as vice president of the AU Board of Trustees.
Two new trustees elected to the 15-member board this year. They are:
* The Rev. Elenora Giddings Ivory, director, Washington Office, Presbyterian Church (USA).
* Dr. Ron Flowers, professor of religion, Texas Christian University Texas Christian University, at Fort Worth; Christian Church (Disciples of Christ); coeducational; opened 1873 at Thorp Spring, chartered 1874 as Add Ran Male and Female College. It assumed its present name in 1902 and moved to Fort Worth in 1910. and president of the North Texas Americans United Chapter.
The new members elected to the 125-seat National Advisory Council are:
* Nasreen Aboobaker, the founder and president of Muslim Women's Network, Carmichael, Calif.
* Dr. David C. Berliner, education professor at Arizona State University Arizona State University, at Tempe; coeducational; opened 1886 as a normal school, became 1925 Tempe State Teachers College, renamed 1945 Arizona State College at Tempe. Its present name was adopted in 1958. and co-author of The Manufactured Crisis: Myths, Fraud, and the Attack on America's Public Schools.
* Joyce Coats, church-state activist, Wake Forest, N.C.
* Anson Chong, former Hawaii state senator and current member of the board of directors of the Rochester, N.Y., Americans United chapter.
* Skip Evans, computer programmer and president of the Atlanta, Ga., Americans United chapter.
* James Hall, attorney, Hall, Patterson and Charne, Milwaukee, Wisc.
* Dr. Elwyn Kernstock, professor emeritus at St. Michael's University and president, Northwest Florida Americans United chapter.
* James T. McCollum, church-state activist and retired attorney, Emerson, Ark.
* Dr. J. Robert Miller, chairman, department of religion and philosophy, Eastern Kentucky University Student Life
The Eastern Kentucky University Office of Student Life works closely with Registered Student Organizations (RSO's), Greek Life, and Thursday Alternative Getaway (TAG). and president, Bluegrass bluegrass, any species of the large and widely distributed genus Poa, chiefly range and pasture grasses of economic importance in temperate and cool regions. In general, bluegrasses are perennial with fine-leaved foliage that is bluish green in some species. chapter of Americans United.
* Kris Ockershauser, fundraiser for Shelter Partnership and founder of Project Freedom of Religion, Southern California.
* Buddy R. Owens, Raleigh, N.C., business owner and president, North Carolina North Carolina, state in the SE United States. It is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean (E), South Carolina and Georgia (S), Tennessee (W), and Virginia (N). Facts and Figures
Area, 52,586 sq mi (136,198 sq km). Pop. Americans United chapter.
* Dr. Bruce Prescott, pastor, Easthaven Baptist Church, Houston, Tex., and president, Greater Houston Area Americans United chapter.
* Pat Williams, former member of U.S. Congress from Montana and strong advocate for church-state separation.