What’s with prayer being forced into public places all of a sudden?
The North Dakota Parks and Recreation Department runs the 500-mile Cycling Around North Dakota in Sakakawea Country (CANDISC) tour.
One Minnesota man has a problem with it, though:
Morgan Christian, 54, of St. Paul, rode the 500-mile CANDISC tour three consecutive years. He objected last summer to a prayer said before a meal at a public high school gym in Turtle Lake, one of several host communities along the route.
Christian expressed his objections to the minister and ride director and in subsequent e-mails to the State Parks and Recreation Department. He said he expected an apology but instead received a letter from the bike tour committee telling him he wasn’t welcome back.
Yes, how dare he complain about something illegal.
North Dakota Parks and Recreation Director Mark Zimmerman said Christian’s attitude was the issue, not his religious beliefs. Ride director Hillary Nelson said Christian disrespected the ride and the town.
“This was Turtle Lake’s way of representing their community,” she said. “If he didn’t like what was going on, he could have left.”
He disrespected the ride? He’s done it three times in a row! He’s only saying what others may be too afraid to point out, and he’s being punished for it.
Zimmerman and Nelson are handing this in the worst possible way.
The ACLU and FFRF have been notified. I suspect if North Dakota wants to keep this event going, they’ll be stopping the public prayers before long.
(Thanks to Neil for the link!)