Gil Davis Fights for Religious Freedom

Feb 09, 2005, 00:00 ET from Friends of Gil Davis for Lieutenant Governor

    FAIRFAX, Va., Feb. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Gil Davis, former federal prosecutor
 and attorney for Paula Jones, has agreed to represent the Staunton - Beverley
 Manor Weekday Religion Education Association, Inc. (WRE).  Davis has a long
 history championing causes involving Bill of Rights issues.  In the seventies
 he successfully attacked a Fairfax County ordinance that required a special
 use permit to hold church meetings in private homes.  A priest had been
 prosecuted as a criminal for violating the ordinance.
     The Staunton School Board will decide whether to eliminate this 65-year-
 old WRE program.  The public school system allows early-release from school so
 that children first through the third grade may receive off-site, Bible based
 interdenominational religious education sponsored by a large consortium of
 Staunton area churches.  "Abolition of this program seems another attempt by
 government to impinge on religious freedom guaranteed in the first amendment
 to the United States Constitution," Davis said.
     Davis, who plans to attend the February 14, 2005 public meeting of the
 School Board where the members of the Board will decide the issue, said: "The
 program involves no public money and is purely voluntary.  It has over 80%
 participation of children through the third grade and is not under government
 sponsorship.  It appears to have no adverse impact on academic performance in
 the public schools.  Finally, it appears that it actually helps fulfill the
 need for character education, which is a Virginia Standard of Learning, by
 teaching such universal values as honesty, charity, and kindness.  One would
 think all religious faiths, the secular realm and those who call themselves
 atheists believe these are good character traits."
     WRE is an active program throughout much of Virginia.  "What happens in
 Staunton will have far-reaching impact," Davis concluded.
     A copy of Davis' letter to the School Board and a copy of the School
 System's policy is available upon request by calling Mr. Davis' law office,
    Authorized and paid for by the Friends of Gil Davis for Lieutenant Governor

SOURCE Friends of Gil Davis for Lieutenant Governor