DAILY CATHOLIC     FRI-SAT-SUN     June 5-7, 1998     vol. 9, no. 109

NEWS & VIEWS
from a CATHOLIC perspective

To print out entire text of Today's issue, go to SECTION ONE and SECTION TWO

CONGRESS TO BEGIN RELIGIOUS FREEDOM AMENDMENT DEBATE

          WASHINGTON, DC (CWNews.com) - Congress is set to take up the controversial Religious Freedom Amendment as lawmakers return from their Memorial Day recess, an amendment which the Clinton administration and civil libertarians oppose.

          Rep. Ernest Istook, R-Oklahoma, is sponsoring the amendment which specifically states that governments cannot endorse or establish any religion, "but the people's right to pray and to recognize their religious beliefs, heritage, or traditions on public property, including schools, shall not be infringed." Istook cites three decades of judicial decisions and bureaucratic mandates "which have warped the original plain and simple meaning of our religious rights under the First Amendment."

          A constitutional amendment is ratified after a two-thirds majority of both chambers of Congress and three-fourths of state legislatures approve the measure. Supporters said they don't think the amendment will pass this time. Randy Tate, executive director of the Christian Coalition, said it was victory just to get the measure on the floor of the House for consideration. Istook said it usually requires four or five votes to win passage of a constitutional amendment.

          President Bill Clinton said in his weekly radio address last Saturday that a constitutional amendment is not necessary, since many of the infringements of rights cited by supporters of the amendment are already protected by federal guidelines. He then reissued those guidelines for use in public schools.


Articles provided through Catholic World News Service.
CWN is not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provides this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

June 5-7, 1998       volume 9, no. 109
NEWS & VIEWS

DAILY CATHOLIC

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