Religious language taken off Facebook in S.C. (September 18, 2020)

The Myrtle Beach mayor’s office in South Carolina has agreed to avoid language that shows endorsement of a specific religion and make sure social media posts are free of such religious bias.

A Horry County citizen alerted FFRF that Myrtle Beach’s Facebook page was periodically promoting events for religious worship. Last summer, one post urged citizens not to miss out on Sunday Celebrations, “a free concert series” with “good music and a great message.” This promotion lacked any information or disclaimer about the organization putting on the event, Ground Zero Ministries, which has a self-professed strategy to utilize “high-energy events and unforgettable experiences to capture the attention of teenagers and introduce them to Christ.” The city continued to promote several other religious events.

FFRF Legal Fellow Brendan Johnson wrote to Mayor Brenda Bethune, asking the city government to refrain from promoting events for religious worship, as these promotions venture into the “perilous ground of mingling state and religion.”

Bethune informed FFRF in a letter of response that the city will be more careful in the future to “avoid language which might tend to imply support or endorsement for a religious belief.”

Freedom From Religion Foundation