North Dakota’s foster care, juvenile detention facilities under atheist group’s attack

Freedom From Religion Foundation files lawsuit
against Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch

This Week’s Top Scrooge – June 22, 2007  


The associations of freethinkers, atheists, agnostics and skeptics of any pedigree, such as the Freedom From Religion group describes itself, can play the lawsuit games they play all day long without bothering me.

However, when it comes to messing with successful youth programs, especially successful foster care programs, I draw the line.

It’s time for Americans to take a look at a group like the Freedom From Religion Foundation, see that they are trying to knock down institutions that are the best this country has to offer and say “enough!”

The most recent foray of yet another misguided group is Freedom of Religion’s attempt at stopping government funds to a 55-years-old North Dakota foster care ranch and its program.

The atheist group asked a judge earlier this week to declare a violation of separation of church and state in regards to public money going to the Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch. The group is seeking to stop the government from sending children or money to the ranch. Freedom From Religion claims the money is being used to religiously indoctrinate young people.

Not only is the Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch under attack, the federal lawsuit in North Dakota challenges the state and county subsidy of “avowedly Christian juvenile detention facilities,” according to a Freedom From Religion press release.

As reported on the Church Report Online:

According to Carol Olson, executive director of the North Dakota Human Services Department, about $7 million in federal, state and county money has gone through the department to foster care services at Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch in two years, but the money is not for religious programs. “The Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch receives private donations to support their spiritual life programs,” Olson said.

“The Dakota Boys & Girls Ranch provides services to children in the context of an explicitly Christian community, including post-release mentoring services, which are publicly funded with taxpayer appropriations,” the lawsuit says.

The ranch is affiliated with the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Its mission is to “help at risk children and their families succeed in the name of Christ,” according to its Web site.

Annie Laurie Gaylor, co-president of the Freedom From Religion Foundation claims, “The whole purpose of this ranch is to proselytize and indoctrinate.”

Apparently, Gaylor and her blind flock can’t see past their noses to realize that when something is truly beneficial to children it is good…not bad.

The proof is in the pudding so to say.

More from the CR Online:

Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch is the second largest social service agency in the state behind the North Dakota Department of Human Services. The Ranch is one of the top 100 largest employers in North Dakota with a $20 million budget and more than 450 employees. Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch has provided of 55 years of service to at-risk youth and their families across the nation.

Freedom From Religion filed the suit Tuesday in federal court in Bismarck against Lisa Bjergaard, director of juvenile services for the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, and Daniel Richter, director of Ward County Social Services.

Bjergaard said no youth are placed in a facility “without a good, thorough review that ensures that they’re placed in compliance with state and federal law.”

The ranch has received CARF-accredited from the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities., meaning they have passed an in-depth review of its services.

Yes, America, it’s time to draw the line in the sand. It’s time to fight for our children. Will you call what’s good, truly good? Or will you waffle.

Will you be blinded by an ideology, such as the one idolized by Freedom From Religion, that can’t see past its own nose?

Freedom From Religion, for its atrocious act of selfishness, is This Week’s Top Scrooge.

SEE UPDATE – July 23, 2008


Freedom From Religion Foundation’s Press Release

The Church Report Online Story

Past Scrooges:

Emergency at Martin Luther King Jr.-Harbor Hospital Takes a Back Seat

At Galesburg High, kids are kids and school officials are out of control

Can Hugo Chavez go down on YouTube, blogs?

Sex, drugs and the ol’ ‘You’re going to do it anyway’ excuse

A nation traumatized by Paris Hilton

Fleeing to the satellite waves, radio jocks Opie and Anthony reach even lower

Parents’ child abuse includes dog cage, shock collar

Alec Baldwin tries cleaning pigsty with “Apology Tour 2007”

This week: no point in poking fun at boneheads and blunders

Knuckle-headed Dom Imus and Nebraska woman tie for top dishoner

Woman’s home up for grabs as part of online hoax


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7 thoughts on “North Dakota’s foster care, juvenile detention facilities under atheist group’s attack

  1. ALEXANDER, I want to take this opportunity to thank you for printing “Freedom From Religion Foundation files lawsuit
    against Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch… This Week’s Top Scrooge – June 22, 2007”

    I had not heard of this before, and now that I have I will be sure to send the FFRF a contribution to their legal fund in hopes of more law suits like this. It is about time that someone stood up against the religious brain washing of American Children.

    Bravo FFRF! Keep up the good work.

  2. ^ Brian, I would not personally support it…no. But if my taxpayer money went to it…that would be my only form of support…through my paid taxes.

    However, are there such people that go around telling children there is no God? What do they tell them? Believe in yourself and nothing else? I don’t get it.

  3. Children should not be subjected to religion. The ranch seems like a wonderful place that employs a large number of people and probably does many great things for the community, but its still wrong.

    Religion is holding you back

  4. @Matt…Maybe not “religion”, but it is more than OK that children be “subjected” to FAITH! “Religion” may be holding YOU back, but your apparent unwillingness to be open about FAITH has limited your understanding of what really goes on at the ranch.

  5. I bet at this ranch religion isn’t forced upon them. I bet it is shown through example. I applied for another ranch such as this and we were told that we don’t force our religious views on them we just show through our actions our beliefs. That is what everyone thinks of when they think of christians that we are all bible thumpers and are forcing our religion on everyone. That is not the case there are some that do that but there is an even larger amount that doesn’t learn the facts before you start making statements you can’t back up.

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