Unbelievable! Do these people know how un-Freedom of Religion they have become in protesting and succeeding in removing simple singing and prayer in public services?
This from Associated Press:
The Wisconsin Department of Justice has removed religious content from a memorial service for murder victims planned for next week after a watchdog group complained.
A religious hymn called “This Too Shall Pass” and a closing prayer by a Lutheran pastor will not be included in the ceremony as initially planned, department spokesman Kevin St. John said Friday.
The Madison-based Freedom From Religion Foundation complained Tuesday that the hymn and the prayer at the state-sponsored event would violate the separation of church and state guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution.
After a review, St. John said the department agreed the content was on shaky constitutional footing.
“Rather than create the unintentional appearance that the state was endorsing religion or a particular creed, the department amended the program to exclude those parts,” he said. “We certainly wouldn’t want to have an appearance of a potential church-state violation overshadow the event.”
From the same story, more on this craziness and heads up on more efforts to exclude prayer and singing:
In the complaint, group co-president Annie Laurie Gaylor said the lyrics to the religious hymn would offend some in the audience “by advancing the idea that the murder of their beloved child was part of a deity’s plan!”
She cited the following passage: “He’ll never give you more than you can bear/This too shall pass / So in this thought be comforted/It’s in His hands.”
“Grieving and vulnerable families should not be proselytized by state government or be told how or what they are expected to believe,” Gaylor wrote. “The state should not be selecting which minister, which denomination or which religion should confer blessings, thereby excluding all the rest of us.”
Gaylor also asked Van Hollen to scrap the religious overtones of an annual ceremony at the Capitol that commemorates law enforcement officials who died in the line of duty.
She said that event inappropriately included a chaplain, prayer and a rendition of “Amazing Grace.”
St. John said state officials participate in the event but it is hosted by a nonprofit group. As a result, he said, “there’s nothing about that ceremony which would run afoul of the First Amendment.”