All Press Releases for December 20, 2014

Nativity Scenes and the Separation of Church and State - Dr. MaryAnn Diorio Releases Statement

Can Christ be kept out of Christmas? Does a religious display violate the separation of church and state? Dr. MaryAnn Diorio has released a statement that may help clear up some of the confusion.

    WILMINGTON, NC, December 20, 2014 /24-7PressRelease/ -- According to an article on the Opposing Views website, for three years running the city of Brookville, Indiana, has been threatened with a lawsuit from the Freedom from Religion Foundation. Last year, the commissioners reportedly received a letter requesting that the city's nativity scene be removed from public property. The FFRF maintains that the display violates separation of church and state in that the display is on public property.

"Not so," objects award-winning author Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. "The concept of 'separation of church and state' is found nowhere in the Constitution. The phrase comes from a letter written by Thomas Jefferson on January 1, 1802, to the Danbury Baptist Association of Connecticut in regard to a rumor that the Congregationalists would become the national religion, an alarming thought for those who had escaped religious persecution in England. Jefferson wrote: 'I contemplate with solemn reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should "make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," thus building a wall of separation between Church and State.' As verified by Jefferson's letter, the phrase 'separation of church and state' is a quote from his letter, not from the Constitution. Anyone who has read the Constitution can verify the accuracy of my statement. The purpose of this 'wall' to which Jefferson referred in his letter was not to keep religion out of government, but to keep government out of religion. Indeed, as James Madison, the Father of the Constitution and our fourth president, so eloquently stated, 'The future and success of America is not in this Constitution, but in the laws of God upon which this Constitution is founded.'"

"The real issue here," Diorio continues, "is not religious or non-religious freedom. The real issue is the spiritual conflict between good and evil that has existed since the fall of mankind. As the Book of Ephesians reminds us,'... we are not fighting against people made of flesh and blood, but against persons without bodies--the evil rulers of the unseen world, those mighty satanic beings and great evil princes of darkness who rule this world; and against huge numbers of wicked spirits in the spirit world" (Ephesians 6:12). Ours is a spiritual battle, not an intellectual one or even a political one. Knowing this, we can love our enemies even as they persecute us."

Dr. Diorio holds a Doctor of Ministry degree and has been teaching the Bible for almost 20 years. She writes award-winning books for the young, and the young-at-heart. Diorio has written seven books, been a contributor to eight others, and has published seven booklets. She recently brought her considerable talent and impressive background together in 'Who Is Jesus?' to create a work that is certain to become a classic in the Christian children's books genre.

Dr. Diorio holds numerous degrees including the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree in French with a concentration in Comparative Literature, the Doctor of Ministry (DMin) degree in Christian Counseling, the Master of Philosophy (MPhil) degree in French with a concentration in Comparative Literature, the Master of Arts (MA) degree in Italian Language & Literature, the Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree in Writing Popular Fiction with a concentration in Writing for Children and the Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in French.

She has won numerous awards, including Third Place for "From Feminism to Freedom" AMY Writing Awards; Fifth Place, National Writers' Club Short Story Contest for "The Birthmark"; Top 100 Short Stories ranking for "The Birthmark", Writers' Digest Short Story Contest; Honorable Mention for radio script, TAKE ONE Radio Theatre; Second Place for Novel, St. Davids Christian Writers' Conference Contest; Third Place in Women's Fiction, American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) Genesis Contest; Second Place in Inspirational Category for Novel, East Texas RWA Southern Heat Contest; Second Place in Historical Category for Novel, Romance Writers' Ink Where the Magic Begins Contest; First Place in Inspirational Category for Novel, Colorado RWA Heart of the Rockies Contest; and First Place in Inspirational Category for Novel, Spacecoast Launching a Star Contest.

Dr. Diorio is available for media interviews and can be reached using the information below or by email at [email protected]. All of her works are available at online book retailers and at her site. More information, including information on 'Who Is Jesus?', is available at her site at

MaryAnn is also a multi-award winning author, a Certified Life Coach, a Certified Behavioral Consultant, and a Certified Biblical Counselor as well as a gifted Bible teacher and speaker whose heart's desire is to help people become all that God created them to be. For all that God has done and continues to do in her life, MaryAnn gives Him all the praise and all the glory.

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MaryAnn Diorio
MaryAnn Diorio
Wilmington, NC
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