FFRF hunts down sectarian Easter event in Tennessee city government (April 6, 2012)

The Freedom From Religion Foundation has persuaded the City of Mt. Juliet (Tenn.) to stop promoting “the Great Easter Bash.”

“The Great Easter Bash” was a Christian event set to take place on April 7 in a public park. The City of Mt. Juliet Parks and Recreation Department was the designated host, with Friendship Community Church as a co-sponsor. As host, the city advertised the event on the department’s webpage and on mass distributed postcards. FFRF Staff Attorney Stephanie Schmitt took issue with this blatant blending of government and religion. She wrote to Parks Director Jay Cameli on April 4: “While organizing and encouraging citizens to attend family-friendly recreation is a laudable goal, advertising and co-sponsoring an event with a church constitutes government endorsement of religion and alienates those Tennessee residents who are not Christian and who are non-religious.”

Schmitt received confirmation on April 6 that the city wisely removed all information about the Easter event. The parks department “removed the city logo, as well as all references to the ‘City of Mt. Juliet’ on the printed materials that will be distributed at the event.” Employees were instructed to treat the event as they would any other. 

Freedom From Religion Foundation