Church-State separation group learns about Amendment 8

Rabbi Merrill Shapiro, president of the Board of Trustees and president of the Flagler County Chapter of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, invited Historic City News readers to attend their meeting on Wednesday, May 16, 2012 from 5:30 until 7:30 p.m.

“The meeting is open to the public and all are welcome,” Shapiro told reporters. “No prior arrangements are necessary.”

Reverend Steve Baines, national Religious Outreach Director, will discuss the meanings of Florida’s proposed Constitutional Amendment 8; which will be on the November 2012 ballot.

Sixty-percent of Florida’s voters must approve the amendment in order for it to pass.

“We urge you to learn more about the serious harms Amendment 8 could inflict on so many fellow Floridians,” Shapiro said. “Floridians have long understood the importance of keeping the state from using public tax dollars to aid religious groups and institutions.”

The Americans United for Separation of Church and State meeting will be held at the main branch of the Flagler County Public Library located at 2500 Palm Coast Parkway Northwest in Palm Coast. Call (386) 446-6763 for best directions.

Shapiro explained, “The current provision was incorporated in the state constitution in 1885 and was reenacted in 1968 — Thirty-seven other states have similar provisions in their constitutions.”

Today, Florida has vibrant religious communities, not in spite of these constitutional provisions, but because of them, according to Rabbi Shapiro. “The no-aid provision in the Florida Constitution has served Florida well for over a century and Amendment 8 is not needed to allow partnerships between faith-based institutions and the government,” Shapiro observed. “Amendment 8 only serves to loosen church-state safeguards for those partnerships and threaten Florida’s religious freedom and public schools.”

Rabbi Merrill Shapiro
President, Board of Trustees
President, Flagler County Chapter
Americans United for Separation of Church and State

The Rev. Dr. Harold Brockus
President, Pinellas Chapter
Americans United for Separation of Church and State

The Rev. Harry Parrott
President, Clay County Chapter
Americans United for Separation of Church and State

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