Chicago Atheist Group’s Billboard Stating “I Put My Faith in Science” Deemed Offensive, Moved to New Location
Georgia Officials Must’ve Thought No One Would Put Up a Display Next to a Courthouse Nativity Scene. They Were Wrong
Back in February, the Freedom From Religion Foundation wrote to officials in Statesboro, Georgia to remind them that the Nativity scene that was in front of the Bulloch County Courthouse last winter was illegal. Either it had to go or non-Christian groups had to have the option of putting up a display next to it.
It took until a couple of weeks ago for them to respond, but they went with the latter option, probably thinking no one else would bother to request a display.
This is what the front of the Courthouse looks like now:
People always argue that groups like the Freedom From Religion Foundation go after “petty” church/state separation cases, and they should just let some things slide.
Like New York’s Utica Fire Department Station 4 with a “Happy Birthday Jesus” sign outside its building. What’s the harm, right?
Earlier this week, we saw New York’s Utica Fire Department Station 4 promoting Christianity with a sign outside the firehouse reading “Happy Birthday Jesus.”
Besides the sign just looking and sounding childish, you could make the argument that it’s an illegal promotion of a single faith. That’s what the Freedom From Religion Foundation said in a letter.
The sign at Fire Station 4 explicitly invokes the name Jesus, an exclusively Christian god, and makes a direct statement in support of that deity… This is precisely the sort of religious endorsement prohibited by the Establishment Clause.
The department could, in theory, put up displays of other groups to remain neutral, but they were better off just removing the sign or handing it off to a church.
So what did the department choose to do?
Back in July, the Freedom From Religion Foundation filed an open records request with Wisconsin state officials asking how they planned to implement the law following the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby ruling.
[Plaintiff and FFRF attorney Patrick] Elliott made a series of open records requests of the Office of the Commissioner after a reported agency decision that Wisconsin’s contraceptive mandate, known as the Contraceptive Equity Law, would no longer be enforced because it was preempted by the June 30 Hobby Lobby ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court.
FFRF and many other observers disagreed, since the Religious Freedom Restoration Act under which the ruling was decided applies only to the federal government, not states.
Elliott asked for specific documents regarding how state officials communicated with each other regarding contraceptive coverage.
What he eventually got back were just a handful of documents that didn’t even come close to fulfilling the whole request. That’s illegal, says FFRF, and they’re suing over this lack of transparency: