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August 2, 1996     The Message
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August 2, 1996

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4 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana August 2, 1996 I I IIIII "Religious freedom amendment weighed in discrimination fight By PATRICIA ZAPOR Catholic News Service religion is viewed as something shameful. "The term 'religious' is used in a pejorative sense," she said. "Any expression of religious beliefs from the children is censored. The children learn from this to keep their faith hidden, and in doing so, they lose their faith." Next year, she told Catholic News Service, the children will attend Catholic school. Capuchin Brother Bob Smith, president of Messmer High School in Milwaukee, told of being frustrated in his efforts to have the private Catholic school included in Wisconsin's voucher program. The 5-year-old system allows parents to use state funds toward education at public or pri- yate schools and many Catholic schools participate. But Brother Smith said a panel that came to Messmer to evaluate its eligibility was criti- cal of such things as the picture of the Last Supper in his office, say- ing that was too overtly religious. The executive director of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, William A. Dono- hue, told the subcommittee the Doyle family's experiences are just part of the reason he believes a religious freedom amendment would help end "the two-class system we have at the moment where secular expression is given preferential treatment over reli- gious expression." "It is not our goal to change the First Amendment, rather it is our objective to restore the status quo ante, that is, the condition that was outlined by the framers of the Constitution and was found acceptable by the courts for most WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Tes- timony offered at a July 23 hear- ing on proposals for a constitu- tional amendment redefining religious rights gave dramati- cally different interpretations of the current condition of such rights. Two proposals for constitu- tional amendments are aimed at more explicitly defining religious rights than supporters believe is possible under the First Amend- ment's guarantee of religious freedom. A wide range of problems with religious expression and of views about whether a constitutional amendment is needed or would work were aired in testimony be- fore the House Judiciary Sub- committee on the Constitution. AnnaDoyle, a Catholic mother from East Greenwich, R.I., de- scribed troubles her children had the first year she enrolled them in public schools. Her youngest child, Katie, was told it was "against the law" to bring her book "Jesus My Love" to school. Joshua Doyle was told he could not do a report on St. Isaac Jogues because he was a re- ligious figure; his twin sister was forced to take back Advent cards she made for her classmates. And Matthew Doyle, who is in a special education program, had teachers define a behavior goal for him as "learn to refrain from discussing religion." Doyle said her experiencewith , public aehoola last year atr the six children previously were taught at home showed her that St. Boafface Church Picnic Sunday, Au:00ust 4 St. Boniface Church Grounds Hwy 545, Fulda, Indiana Fried Chicken or Roast Beef Dinners Served 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Air-Conditioned Dining Room Also featuring: Famous Soup Sandwiches Ice Cream Grand Raffle Games Novelties Bingo 21 beautiful quilts handmade throughout the day! Grand l00affle At 7 p.m.with over 97 prizes i of our nation's history," said Donohue. Donohue's sentiments were echoed by witnesses from the Na- tional Association of Evangeli- cals, the Traditional Values Coalition and Concerned Women for America. But witnesses from the Pres- byterian Church USA, the Na- tional School Boards Association, the National COuncil of Churches, the American Jewish Committee and others sharply disagreed. "The last thing America needs is a new First Amendment," said the Rev. Oliver Thomas, special counsel for Religious and Civil Liberties of the National Council of Churches. The Baptist minis- ter agreed there needs to be a stronger role for religion in public life and fairer, more respectful treatment of religion in schools. "But a new constitutional amendment on religion? God for- bid," he said. "Passage of this lat- est amendment to the First Amendment is the most liberal -- most radical -- thing this sub- committee could do." Rev. Thomas said-legislative and judicial remedies .for the problems outlined by the wit- nesses have not been exhausted, the basic criteria for considering amending the Constitution. "The problem, to the extent there is one, lies with an occa- sional lower court decision or the decision of a local legislative body such as a school board," Rev. Thomas said. "Such matters are best addressed through the ap-' peals process or through corree- tive measures at the state or local level." ggonsor a 6hild at a Catholi; mission sit6 B his is Conchita, She lives in Guatemala n a one room house with a tin roof, a dirt floor and no electrici- ty. Only four )'ears old, she must help her mother carry ':,arer for cooking and bathing. She gets very tired but finds httle comfort on her stiff wooden bed with a straw mattress. Because her father earns only $25 per month as a day laborer, there is no money for playthings, and even basic necessities are a luxury to her family of six. But tllt}r00 is llop00l You can help one very poor child like Conchita through Christian Foundation for Children and Aging (CFCA), a Catholic sponsor- ship program assisting needy children at Catholic mission stes around the world. You can help a poor child receive nourishing food, med- ical care, the chance to go to school and hope for a brighter future. You can fiterally change a fife! I I I I I | Catholic | Child Yes, I'll help one Ghil00 at a Catholi00 mission sit00: Boy 21Girl 21Teenager  Boy/Girl in most need My monthly pledge s: 21510 $t5 21520 1525 Other$ will contribute: 21 montNy quartedy 21 semi-annuaty Jannually Enclosed is my first contribution of $ 1 Bill my first sponsorship payment to my credit card: 1   Credit Card No - -___ Exp. Date Through CFCA, you can sponsor a child with the amount you can afford. Ordinarily it takes $20 a month to provide a child with fle life-chang ing benefits of sponsorship. But if this s not possible for you, we nwte you to do what you can. CFCA works hand in.hand with dedicated, trusted Cathotic missionaries and lay leaders who know their com- munities and labor tirelessly to improve conditions for needy children and their families. Your sponsorship dollars help them do the work Jesus has called us to do. When you become a sponsor you receive a photo of your child, their personal family history, a descrip tion of the country where your child lives, and the CFCA newsletter. Your new friend will write you - and you may write them as often as you like. But most of all, you have the satisfactionof helping a child in need. Please don't miss this opportunity to make a difference. Spans# g dtil# todgy! I Name (please pnnt) Address City/State/Zip Phone(__ TM8/96 ) Send to: Christian Foundation for Chdren and Aging (CFCA) One Elmwood Ave. / P.O, Box 3910 Kansas Cit KS 66103-0910 1-800-875-6564 I Sponsorship 21 1 cannot sponsor now, but I enclose my gift of $ Membe, U S Cathol,c Miss*on Asso(iation. Nat,oaal Cathoi i ] I Pl^a ..... - ...... '-' . .... -- Deveiopmen Con e once, Cathoic Network of Volunteer Set ,  e.u ,,, ,nuv imormauon aoou S onsorsn , r L P P National Cathol* Coon,l for Nispan. Minst y ' /e I BY CATHOLIC LAY PEOPLE Fnanclaf report avadable on request/Doatmns are U 5 rax-dedu(tibt .404 FOUNDED J AND DIRECTED ] 1 l ( 1 t t r 11 tl y, Ol r! L li s P fr, in ca ye re, i Su e ! H