FFRF to Georgia judge: Send aid, not bibles (April 19, 2012)

The Freedom From Religion Foundation has put an end to a Douglas County (Douglasville, Ga.) judge’s inappropriate use of county resources to promote the Christian message.

The judge was using county supplies to collect new and used bibles and distribute them to “persons around the globe who do not have the resources to get bibles.” She also solicited the bibles through the county newsletter and collected the bibles at the courthouse. FFRF Staff Attorney Stephanie Schmitt took issue with this flagrant violation. Schmitt sent an April 13 letter to Douglas County officials: “This use of County resources to solicit and distribute Christian bibles violates the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution. The sole purpose of the judge’s endeavor is to benefit a religious organization — the Christian church.”

Schmitt noted that the judge’s actions also violated the Georgia Constitution. The law advises that “[n]o money shall ever be taken from the public treasury, directly or indirectly, in aid of any church, sect, cult, or religious denomination or of any sectarian institution.”

A secretary for the Chief Magistrate promptly responded to Schmitt with positive news. During a phone conversation the secretary confirmed that bibles will no longer be accepted/delivered to the courthouse. She added that there will not be any more advertisements for the fundraiser. 

Freedom From Religion Foundation