Atheist Group’s Attack On Foster Care, Detention Facility Thwarted

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

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!

DIGG story!

5 thoughts on “Atheist Group’s Attack On Foster Care, Detention Facility Thwarted

  1. Yay to the good guys, who get to force religion on minors with tax payers’ money, because minors have no Constitutional rights in North Dakota, just like women!

  2. Force “religion” my friend? How about yay for giving them a new chance in life here on earth and the opportunity to spend time with Him forever! That’s not such a bad deal is it?

  3. Not if it’s what the children want. Is it what they want? If so, I’m wholly behind it. Otherwise, it isn’t freedom of religion at all.

  4. Children just may need a little guidance. Although I am against abuse of any kind, it’s not always about what they want. An unguided child may just want to eat candy all day long, or play Halo all day long, or worse yet, rob homes all day long.

    Nowhere in the lawsuit was there any claim of abuse other than the dreaded “forced religion” argument. And even so, I did not read the suit, but I did not hear of ANY claims of physical, emotional, or mental abuse.

  5. I’d say that the children definitely need guidance. Whether or not that includes religious instruction is a subjective consideration.

    But you seem to be missing the point. This suit was not brought because the children are being abused. This suit was brought because tax payer money is being used to pay for a religious institution. Was it clearly shown that the tax money of the state was NOT used for a religious institution? The judge seems to think so. But based on previous judgments from North Dakota (heavily religious, despite the Constitution), I have my doubts.

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