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Lead Us Not Into Penn Station:Provocative Pieces

National Convention

September 15-17, 2017



Published by FFRF

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Our Pop Which Art in Heaven

"Saw this in Northern Alabama, in Lawrence County: hilly and very rural. I almost wrecked the car," writes Pennsylvania Foundation member J.K. Folmar.

"With corporate names on everything these days, I wonder if this is the only 'cold drink,' as it is referred to in the South, allowed in the sanctuary."

In The News

Colson Prison Ministry Protested

An evangelistic blitz of Wisconsin prisons conducted by Prison Fellowship Ministries, run by Watergate ex-con Chuck Colson, was protested by the Freedom From Religion Foundation in July.

Colson's ministry initiated "Operation Starting Line" in the year 2000, promising to "preach the gospel to all prisoners in America." The ministry invaded 29 state and federal corrections facilities in Wisconsin during July 14-22, conducting programs as long as six hours.

"Prisoners are the ultimate 'captive audience,' " Foundation spokesperson Annie Laurie Gaylor wrote Dept. of Corrections administrator John Litscher, protesting the "unparalleled access to state prisoners in a way which entices, encourages and promotes attendance at these religious events."

The Foundation formally requested records on the state's agreement with Colson's group, which has pledged campaigns in all 50 states, "until every prisoner in every prison in America has had the opportunity to hear the Gospel and respond."

FFRF Complaint Upholds Ordinance

A city of Madison ordinance prohibits placement of signs on city sidewalks, but this did not deter religionists who placed this sign promoting their vacation bible school outside Crestwood Public School in Madison in June.

It took two days and complaints to three different offices to get it removed, but the ordinance was upheld.

Unhappily, Wisconsin changed its constitution several decades ago to allow religious groups to rent public school space. However, churches are supposed to pay a fair rental, which always bears checking out. One of our complaints once revealed no rental at all charged to a vacation bible school that used the entire public school building, including gymnasium and kitchen.

Although they have their own buildings, churches seek out public school space for the prestige and appearance of endorsement. --Anne Nicol Gaylor

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