Freedom From Religion Foundation lawsuit against Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch dismissed
An update from a previous This Week’s Top Scrooge reported in June of last year is good news for a successful youth program that includes foster care.
This from the WashingtonPost.com:
BISMARCK, N.D. — A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by atheists and agnostics that challenged the state’s sending of children and money to the church-affiliated Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch.
U.S. District Judge Dan Hovland did not address the plaintiffs’ contention that public money is used to indoctrinate children with religion and the state agencies’ referrals to the ranch are unconstitutional.
Instead, the judge said the Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation and five North Dakota taxpayers who are members of the group have no right to sue.
“The payment of taxes is generally not enough to establish standing to challenge an action by the state or county government,” the judge said in his ruling Wednesday.
And more floundering from the lost:
Dan Barker, co-president of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, said the group was considering its options, including appealing or suing on behalf of some children at the Boys and Girls Ranch. It has facilities in Bismarck, Fargo and Minot.
“The government should not be sentencing juveniles to a religious treatment program, and taxpayers should not be footing the bill to indoctrinate children or punish children who object to such indoctrination,” said Annie Laurie Gaylor, another foundation co-president.
Hooray for the good guys!
The Boys and Girls Ranch, which is affiliated with the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, said it receives state funds but that its spiritual component is funded entirely with private money.
When will this church and state separation paranoia end? It’s freedom of religion, not freedom from religion!