This is a reprint of an item I got from American Atheists. A few papers picket it up.
AMERICAN ATHEISTS, INC.
Office of the National Affiliate Outreach Director & Alabama State Director
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: AUG 06, 2008
For more information, please contact:
Blair Scott, National Affiliate Outreach Director and Alabama State Director, (256) 701-6265, firstname.lastname@example.org
WILSON COUNTY TN FAIR'S "GOD AND COUNTRY DAY" AND CHURCH PROGRAM DISCOUNT DISCRIMINATORY AND LIKELY CONSTITUTIONAL VIOLATION
Wilson County's Fair Office has made August 17th "God and Country Day" at the fair with a tribute to military personnel. In addition, they are offering a $2 discount for anyone bringing a church bulletin.
The official government endorsement of a religious event at the fair and giving special discount only to Christian citizens is likely a violation of the Tennessee (Article I, Section 3) and Federal Constitutions (Establishment Clause). Providing a discount only for churchgoers is a clear form of discrimination against anyone attending non-Christian churches, Atheists, and other non-theist citizens of Wilson County and the surrounding areas.
When asked why Wilson County was discriminating against non-Christian citizens, a Wilson County Fair Office representative stated, "That is just God and Country day and promoting that event." The representative continued, "That's one of the discounts for that Sunday for people that do attend church."
Blair Scott, the National Affiliate Outreach Director for American Atheists said, "It is unfortunate that Wilson County has decided to specifically endorse and promote Christianity through this program and discriminate against its non-Christian citizens. I was disappointed when the Fair Office stated they did not see this as discrimination."
Mr. Scott, along with Secular Life Nashville, North Alabama Freethought Association, and Florence United Non-Theists will be gathering at the fair on August 17th wearing T-shirts to support Foxhole Atheists during the tribute to military personnel at the fair. Additionally, area Atheists will be bringing print-outs of their group Web Pages and asking for the $2 discount on admission. Invitations to participate have been sent to other Atheist groups throughout the United States.
AMERICAN ATHEISTS is a nationwide movement that defends civil rights for nonbelievers, works for the total separation of church and state, and addresses issues of First Amendment public policy.
American Atheists, Inc.
PO BOX 158
Cranford, NJ 07016
Tel: (908) 276-7300
Fax: (908) 276-7402