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by Randall Gorman

John and Shelly Hattan, members of American Atheists, joined former Texas state director Randy Gorman in a trip to Austin, Texas, on March 29 to participate in the “Respect Our Constitution” rally organized by Will Elsworth of Houston. The rally was scheduled on the steps of the state capitol to coincide with the Supreme Court hearing arguments on the Santa Fe school district’s policy of student voted corporate prayer before its home football games.

It was a hot day in March in the middle of the week when most folks had to be working and students in class but even with that we were joined by about twenty other First Ammendment defenders in a show of support for Constitutional separation of state from church. Demonstrators from Houston, Fort Worth and Austin were present. Will Elsworth of Houston organized the rally and paid for the use of a state podium and sound system.

A number of people spoke about the Constitution and the founding fathers’ intent to separate state from church, and their experiences in school. John Koonz, Randall Gorman, Ron Titus, Will Ellsworth, Howard Thompson and three high school students who cut class to be there were among the speakers.

After the rally, we gathered at Scholz’s Beer Garten for a chance to talk with those we had not yet met. We know our effort was small. We also know that every struggle for freedom and equality starts out small in the face of majority opinion and hostility. Most of the media was invited but few bothered to cover our event except for the University of Texas student newspaper, the Daily Texan.

For more pictures of this event, please visit Texas American Atheists.

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