Religion

Mayor Bans Atheist Display to Not Upset Christian ‘Prayer Station’ (Video)

| by Michael Allen

Warren, Mich. Mayor Jim Fouts is refusing to allow a “Reason Station” inside the city hall's atrium because it would upset a Christian "Prayer Station," which already resides there.

The "Reason Station" was proposed by Douglas Marshall, who is part of the group Freedom From Religion (video below).

Marshall's "Reason Station" would promote reason and logic, as well as the separation of church and state.

“I do view this a violation of my free speech rights,” Marshall told the Detroit Free Press.

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“It seems to me that the mayor allows free speech in the atrium as long as he agrees with the speech,” added Marshall. “If he doesn’t, he denies speech he doesn’t agree with in the atrium.”

While explaining his denial of Marshall's free speech request, Mayor Fouts told My Fox Detroit, "I emphasize one thing: The government cannot restrict an individual's freedom of speech, but an individual cannot restrict the government's freedom of speech."

In his denial letter, Mayor Fouts reportedly wrote to Marshall:

To my way of thinking, your group is strictly an anti-religion group intending to deprive all organized religions of their constitutional freedoms or at least discourage the practice of religion. The City of Warren cannot allow this.

Also, I believe it is group’s intention to disrupt those who participate in the Prayer Station which would also be a violation of the freedom of religion amendment. For these reasons, I cannot approve of your request.

Sources: Detroit Free Press and My Fox Detroit