DAILY CATHOLIC     MONDAY     June 8, 1998     vol. 9, no. 110

from a CATHOLIC perspective

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


          WASHINGTON, DC (CWNews.com) - The proposed Religious
    Freedom Amendment was defeated in the US House on Thursday
    by 61 votes, but supporters were upbeat despite the loss
    saying that just getting a vote was a kind of victory.

         "We consider it a victory to have had this vote, the first
    of its kind in the House in 27 years," said Randy Tate,
    executive director of the Christian Coalition. Rep. Ernest
    Istook, R-Oklahoma, sponsored 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." The House voted 224-203 in favor of the
    amendment, but short of the two-thirds majority necessary.

         The Clinton administration opposed the amendment, saying it
    was unnecessary since religious freedom, especially in
    public schools, was already protected under federal
    guidelines. But Istook said three decades of judicial
    decisions and bureaucratic mandates have weakened the
    ability to be publicly religious, and cited instances where
    schools have forbade children from praying before meals or
    carrying a Bible.

         Istook said the amendment fell short because it usually
    takes four or five attempts to win approval of a
    constitutional amendment, and "the political correctness
    movement has acquired a stranglehold on many members of
    Congress." Rep. Merrill Cook, R-Utah, lamented: "We now
    live in a world where birth control devices can be
    dispensed at public schools but a voluntary moment of
    silent worship is often forbidden."

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 8, 1998       volume 9, no. 110

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