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FFRF stops religious emails at Alabama agency (July 13, 2012)

The Freedom From Religion Foundation ended an inappropriate use of official email by a government agency employee in Alabama.

An employee of the Alabama Medicaid Agency used her official email account to send out an email asking recipients to help ban a supposed upcoming film depicting Jesus as a homosexual. Her email included a quotation from the bible and urged recipients, “Let’s stand for what we believe and stop the mockery of Jesus Christ our Savior.”

FFRF staff attorney Stephanie Schmitt sent a letter to the agency commissioner on June 20, 2012. She argued “it is grossly inappropriate to include religious references in an email from an official government employee.” Schmitt also pointed out that this action was against the Alabama Information Technology Policy regarding email usage.

In a July 13 response, acting commissioner Stephanie McGee Azar agreed that this employee violated the policies of the agency and “appropriate disciplinary action” was taken against her. Azar assured FFRF that all agency employees were reminded that “state email systems shall not be used for conducting any religious or political activities.”