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Creator Bill Protest~~Round 2

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these, Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness." The second sentence in the Declaration of Independence. The "Creator-Bill" line, to be required recitation in New Jersey public schools.

On November 20, 2000, a contingent of American Atheists went to the New Jersey Statehouse in Trenton, NJ to picket against the proposed New Jersey "Creator Bill." We were going to picket this several weeks ago, but the issue was put on the back-burner. It came up again on Monday, Nov. 20, so we took our picket signs out on that day to the Statehouse.

It was a cold and windy Monday morning when we showed up at the steps of the Statehouse. We were five strong, plus one young Atheist who snapped our only good photo of the picket.

Legislators and other state officials were coming and going outside of the building all morning. Several stopped and asked us about our signs. We explained that we were in opposition to any legislation that appeared to be a dishonest attempt to require public school students to recite a prayer, or a thinly veiled prayer. We also opposed this particular proposed legislation because it included nothing about educating students about the meaning of the Declaration of Independence, especially the line they wanted students to recite.

Even though it's likely that this bill will never be signed into law, we know that similar versions of this bill could easily be smuggled into legislation if we are not vigilant.

I'd like to thank Dave Silverman for keeping us informed of the status of this proposed bill for the last few months, and helping to organize opposition to it. Also I'd like to thank those who came out: Jodi Greene, Freda Kernes, Jerry Rosenthal, Max Johnson, and American Atheists President, Ellen Johnson.

When we hear about this proposed legislation coming up for consideration again, we'll be there again with picket signs and smiles. :o)

Joe Zamecki
American Atheists
New Jersey

Some of our signs: "Creator Bill" is Religion Not Patriotism, Michael Patrick Carroll & Guy Talarico-Pushers of Phony Patriotism (They were the bill's sponsors), Separate Church and School-Defeat the "Creator Bill".