The city of Mount Vernon, Illinois recently issued a proclamation that was nothing more than an advertisement for Christianity. We often hear about proclamations for things like the “National Day of Prayer” which take a more generic approach to the supposed benefits to prayer, but this proclamation was Christianity-specific like you’ve never seen.
Mayor John Lewis wrote that the city “recognizes the biblical five-fold ministry of apostles, prophets, teachers, pastors, and evangelists,” gives “spiritual authority to [sic] back to God who created us,” and recognizes “God in our City.”
This was all part of a promotional tool for a revival hosted by Groundbreaker International, a Christian ministry. And we know what they did because they advertised it on Facebook:
Now the Freedom From Religion Foundation is calling on city officials to stop promoting religion in this unconstitutional way:
“This proclamation alienates nonreligious and non-Christian citizens in Mount Vernon by turning them into political outsiders in their own community, including the 24 percent of Americans and 38 percent of Americans born after 1987, who do not identify with any religion, FFRF Legal Fellow Chris Line writes. “The city’s official endorsement of Christianity and the views of a Christian organization and revival event is a serious constitutional separation of state and church violation.”
FFRF is urging the city to refrain from issuing proclamations that endorse a specific religious viewpoint or religious organization in the future.
“It is extremely inappropriate for city officials to use their position of power to promote anti-scientific, fringe religious beliefs,” comments FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor. “It is dangerous, irresponsible and unconstitutional.”
Incidentally, this part of Illinois is also home to Christian Nationalist State Rep. Darren Bailey, who just announced his campaign to become a state senator. Bailey appeared at one of the ministry’s revival events.
(Image via Facebook. Thanks to Jasper for the link)