You don’t expect a lot of surprises in an elected official’s Twitter and Facebook feeds but Wisconsin’s Governor Scott Walker provided one on Sunday:
Philippians 4:13? (That’s the verse that reads “I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”)
Why was the governor — any governor — tweeting a Bible verse? Why was he tweeting it from his official accounts and not his personal ones? Why wasn’t there a bigger uproar, given that you know Fox News Channel would be on High Alert if an elected official tweeted a verse from the Koran or any other non-Bible holy book?
It is improper for a state employee, much less for the chief executive officer of the state, to use the machinery of the State of Wisconsin to promote personal religious views. It is unethical to use state phones, mail, e-mail, etc., for personal religious use or promotion, just as it is for campaigning.
… To say “I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me,” seems more like a threat, or the utterance of a theocratic dictator, than of a duly elected civil servant.
As governor, you took an oath of office to uphold the entirely godless and secular U.S. Constitution. You have misused your secular authority and podium to promote not just religion over non-religion, but one religion over another in a manner that makes many Wisconsin citizens uncomfortable. On behalf of our membership, we ask you to immediately delete this religious message from your official gubernatorial Facebook and Twitter…
An overreaction? I don’t think so. If Walker had tweeted God doesn’t exist, do you think he’d get a free pass? Actually, FFRF asking Walker to merely delete the tweet (and Facebook post) is hardly a punishment. You could even argue it’s an incentive for him to just do it again if that’s the worst that’ll happen.
I’m betting Walker will ignore the letter and leave the tweet/post untouched. Unlike the President promoting something like the National Day of Prayer, which one could argue applies to all different faiths, Walker’s post was Christian-only. It raises the question of how much elected officials should be allowed to get away with when it comes to endorsing religion. If you think this is hardly something to get worked up over, where do you draw the line?
(Thanks to Zack for the link)