Irate Alabama ex-official wants to undo FFRF’s good work

SylvaniasignAn upset former councilor in Alabama is vowing to get his town to again blatantly engage in Christian messaging.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation last summer asked the town of Sylvania to remove welcome signs that read, “One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism,” a biblical quotation from the book of Ephesians. Local officials got rid of the unconstitutional slogan.

“The Establishment Clause of the First Amendment prohibits government sponsorship of religious messages,” FFRF Staff Attorney Sam Grover said in his Aug. 6 letter to then-Sylvania Mayor Emily Wooten. “It is inappropriate and unconstitutional for the town of Sylvania to display the signs because they convey both government preference of religion over nonreligion and Christianity over other religions.” 

Wooten responded to inform FFRF that the signs were being taken down. 

A few days ago, former councilman Tony Goolesby proclaimed, “I intend for that bible verse to go back up on our sign or some statement of God.”

In fact, as FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor points out, the issue is “déjà vu all over again.”

The town originally promised to remove the religious signs in 2012, after FFRF had complained back then. But if the signs came down in 2012, they were soon put back up, and remained that way until FFRF complained again in August 2015.

Gaylor is urging Sylvania not to reinstall the signs.

“Adherence to the Constitution is not an optional exercise,” she says. “Sylvania cannot again be in violation of our founding principles just because of a few disgruntled residents.”

The Freedom From Religion Foundation is a state/church watchdog organization with affiliates and more than 23,000 members nationwide, including a long-lasting chapter, the Alabama Freethought Association.


Freedom From Religion Foundation

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