The Wilson County Fair in Lebanon, Tennessee gets over a quarter-million attendees during its almost week-long festivities.
On Sunday, August 17th, the theme is “God and Country Day.” That seems like an odd theme for a local government…
Join us in honoring those who are currently serving our country and those who have previously served. Help us show strong support for the men and women of Wilson County who are faithfully serving our country through their military service. We also want to honor those who have completed their service. Let’s stand with our military personnel and their families.
But at least they’re not discriminating against people who don’t believe in God, right?
Surely, they wouldn’t ignore the service of all the atheists who have served in foxholes…
$2 off admission with church bulletin (each person must bring a bulletin from the weekend of August 17.)
So a government funded program will give you a discount if you attend a church.
And they are implying that only those who believe in God serve our country.
American Atheists is organizing a group to attend the fair that day.
If you want to go, come prepared:
In addition to the GCD event, the Wilson County Fair is offering $2.00 off the cost of general admission to anyone showing a church bulletin. You can let Wilson County officials know about the discriminatory nature of this unconstitutional promotion of sectarian religion by calling 615-443-2626. Print out a copy of your local freethinkers’ group web page, or the American Atheists web site home page (http://www.atheists.org) and bring it with you. Demand the $2.00 off your general admission as well.
If they didn’t give you a discount even after you showed them your atheist bulletin, I imagine it would be grounds for a lawsuit… sound petty? For $2, perhaps. But it’s the principle of the matter.
Incidentally, this isn’t the first time we’ve seen Lebanon, TN in the news when it comes to the local government’s religious preference. The ACLU sued the local school system in 2006:
School administrators repeatedly disregarded the family’s requests and continued to promote and sponsor activities like “Prayer at the Flag Pole” and “Praying Parents,” whose members enter classrooms and tell students that they have prayed for them. Rather than taking the family’s requests seriously, the school administrators encouraged the family to withdraw their child from the school.
In the lawsuit, the ACLU of Tennessee argues that the pattern and practice of promoting and endorsing religious activities by the Wilson County public school system is unconstitutional. In addition to “Praying Parents” and “Prayer at the Flag Pole,” the Wilson County school system promotes a range of religious activities, including a National Day of Prayer event and teacher-led classroom prayers, according to the lawsuit.
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