Michael J. Amatuzzo
Can humanists put up their own display?
In Warren, outside of Detroit, Mayor Jim Fouts is telling local resident Douglas Marshall he cannot have a “reason station” in order to promote reason in Warren’s city hall atrium, where there is already a Christian prayer station.
The mayor, in his rejection letter, made illogical arguments. He stated Mr. Marshall, being a member of the Freedom from Religion Foundation, was trying to “discourage religion.” No, this group exists in order to promote keeping the government neutral when it comes to religion. It does not discourage the practice of religion.
One’s First Amendment right to practice religion is not dependent on a mayor opening part of a city hall to a prayer station, just as Mr. Marshall’s free speech rights as a non-believer aren’t depending on a reason station in city hall. But once it is made a public forum, then the government cannot discriminate based on viewpoints.
I would hope that in Kokomo, the city government would support the rights of atheists or humanists to put up their own display, if Christian or religious displays are already allowed. I hope they are better then this mayor from Michigan.
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