FFRF returns religious email to Michigan professor (Feb. 6, 2012)

Wayne County Community College District in Detroit, Mich., will no longer allow instructors to promote their personal religious beliefs through email.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation received complaints over an instructor’s improper use of email. A Wayne County professor sent a “welcome” note to students, which happened to include an invitation to attend a specific church in the Detroit area. In a Feb. 1 letter to Chancellor Dr. Curtis Ivery, FFRF wrote of the obvious form of endorsement a school-sponsored email can take. FFRF pointed out that the instructor’s statements referencing personal religious beliefs and encouragement to visit a particular church “constitute an official endorsement and advancement of religion over nonreligion, and specifically Christianity over all other faiths.”

A member of the college’s legal counsel replied to FFRF’s initial complaint on Feb. 6. In his letter he confirmed that the college had requested the instructor refrain from making comments referencing religion while acting on behalf of the institution. 

Freedom From Religion Foundation