Jim Fouts, the mayor of Warren, Michigan, which is currently being sued because he refuses to allow a reason station along with a Christian prayer station at city hall, responded to that lawsuit by comparing atheists to Nazis and the KKK.
“Once the government opens public space for use by private groups, it cannot pick and choose who can use the space based on the content of their message or whether public officials agree with that message,” said Dan Korobkin, ACLU of Michigan deputy legal director, adding “The city cannot allow speech supportive of religion and reject speech supportive of atheism.”
Fouts told The Associated Press on Wednesday that Marshall’s “reason station” would be diametrically opposed to prayer.
“The city has certain values that I don’t believe are in general agreement with having an atheist station, nor in general agreement with having a Nazi station or Ku Klux Klan station,” Fouts said. “I cannot accept or will not allow a group that is disparaging of another group to have a station here.”…The city doesn’t endorse the “prayer station,” but has allowed religious groups to set up tables in the atrium for several years, according to Fouts.
“They don’t walk up to people,” Fouts said. “They are just there if someone wishes to seek solace or guidance from them. The atheist station does not serve that purpose. It will not contribute to community values or helping an individual out.”
I’m glad he recognizes that prayer is diametrically opposed to reason, but having a reason station is not disparaging of a prayer station. If someone has problems they want to talk about, one group offers to pray for them and the other offers to help you think through them logically. I bet the second one works better. Fouts, as always, is using ad hoc rationalizations for the outcome he wants.