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Fwd: In Memory of Senator Lautenberg

From: user 2.
Sent on: Monday, June 3, 2013 3:43 PM


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Begin forwarded message:

From: Secular Coalition for America <[address removed]>
Date: June 3,[masked]:10:44 PM GMT-04:00
To: <[address removed]>
Subject: In Memory of Senator Lautenberg
Reply-To: Secular Coalition for America <[address removed]>

In Memory of Senator Lautenberg
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In Memory of Senator Lautenberg - 5 Term Senator from New Jersey Dies at 89

 

Senator Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ), a long-time ally of secular and church state issues, passed away this morning due to complications from viral pneumonia in New York. He was 89 years old.

As a Jewish member of the Senate Lautenberg was a strong supporter of church/state separation. He received an “A” grade on the Secular Coalition for America’s most recent Senate Scorecard.  Representing secular New Jersey constituents, Senator Lautenberg’s office met with David Silverman and Amanda Knief from American Atheists during SCA’s Secular Summit & Lobby Day on April 26th.  American Atheists is a member organization of the Secular Coalition for America and headquartered in New Jersey. Sen. Lautenberg’s office is also scheduled to meet with SCA staff on June 13th. His Chief of Staff, Dan Katz formally worked for Americans United for Separation of Church and State before moving on to work aside the Senator.

Lautenberg opposed school vouchers which would use taxpayer money to pay for religious schools as well as opposed abstinence-only education. In 1995, Lautenberg urged then-Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) to withdraw his invitation to pseudo-historian David Barton because Barton promoted the idea of America as a Christian-only nation.

In 1998, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) passed a resolution “lauding the Ten Commandments and urging its display.” The resolution said the display should be featured, “in the Supreme Court, the Capitol building, the White House, and other government offices and courthouses across the nation.” It was Senator Lautenberg who reformed that resolution with the phrase, “…as long as it is consistent with the establishment clause of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.”    

Sen. Lautenberg was the last World War II veteran serving in the U.S. Senate and held the record
for the number of votes cast by a New Jersey Senator. He was a strong ally for church-state separation and will be missed by the Secular community. He is survived by his wife, Bonnie Englebardt Lautenberg; six children and their spouses. 

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