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Athletes Promote School Prayer

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Prominent sports and entertainment figures last week lined up before television cameras and a group of Congressmen in Washington to argue on behalf of organized prayer in the schools.

The next day, in a letter to the Senate, leaders of a dozen national Jewish and Protestant groups urged the Congress to reject the pending school-prayer amendments "as an unnecessary intrusion into the delicate balance ... between church and state in America."

President Reagan has said he expects the Senate to begin debate soon on proposed constitutional amendments that would allow public schools to begin the day with organized prayer. Senate sponsors of such measures are reported to be divided on the language of the amendments.

Last week's publicity session, sponsored by a group of House Republicans, featured Joe Gibbs and Tom Landry (pictured above), the head coaches of the Washington Redskins and the Dallas Cowboys, and Meadowlark Lemon, a former Harlem Globetrotter.

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