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From AUcorbin@aol.com Thu Aug 31 14:19:54 2000
From: AUcorbin@aol.com
Date: Wed, 30 Aug 2000 22:58:05 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: Liberman Urged to Step Down as Chair of Center for Jewish and Christian Values
Article: 103843
To: undisclosed-recipients:;

Americans United calls on Lieberman to step down as chairman of Center for Jewish and Christian values

Americans United for Separation of Church and State press release, 20 August 2000

August 30, 2000

Contact: Steve Benen
202-466-2587 fax


Americans United for Separation of Church and State called on Democratic vice presidential candidate Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman to resign as honorary chairman of a group that criticizes public schools for allegedly suppressing students' religious activity.

Americans United charges that the organization, the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, makes a number of false charges against public education and church-state separation. Lieberman serves as honorary chairman of the Fellowship's Center for Jewish and Christian Values.

The Fellowship seems to have a track record of making reckless and baseless charges about religious freedom in America and specifically the role religion plays in public schools, Americans United Executive Director Barry W. Lynn wrote to Lieberman. I believe you do yourself a disservice by your continued association with this organization.

Lynn noted that the Fellowship:

Said AU's Lynn, The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews seems to have ripped a page out of Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell's handbook for bashing public schools. It's discouraging to see anyone in public life endorse this group's misguided agenda.

In his letter to Lieberman, Lynn said the stories the Fellowship circulates about public schools suppressing student religious activity are most likely mythical. Members of my staff and I have personally investigated many of these types of claims over the years and have found them to be either completely groundless or grossly misconstrued, Lynn wrote. Stories like this are often spread by television preachers and other far-right activists who dislike public education. Upon closer inspection, they usually turn out to have been wildly distorted.

Concluded the Lynn missive, It is discouraging that you have chosen to serve as honorary chairman of an organization that apparently works to spread disingenuous propaganda against public schools.... The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews does not live up to the high moral standards you have always championed. Please, withdraw your support from this group today.

Lynn noted that the advisory board of the Center for Jewish and Christian Values is studded with Religious Right activists who frequently attack public schools and church-state separation, including former Education Secretary William Bennett, Southern Baptist Convention official Richard Land, former Family Research Council director Gary Bauer and ex-Christian Coalition head Ralph Reed.