The Warren, Michigan, city hall has a prayer station, so resident Douglas Marshall decided to seek permission to create a reason station to complement it. Permission denied, lawsuits ensue, and now a federal judge has required the city to allow it.
The script and its denouement is so damned predictable by now that I’m at a loss to understand why cities keep wasting their taxpayer’s money trying to change the ending. Don’t they have city attorneys who knows how to read case law? Or do they ignore their counsel’s sage advice?
In this particular case, not only did the city’s mayor, James Fouts, deny the request for a reason station, he stupidly put his unconstitutional reasons in writing.
“To my way of thinking, your group is strictly an anti-religion group intending to deprive all organized religions of their constitutional freedoms or at least discourage the practice of religion. The City of Warren cannot allow this,” Fouts wrote, underlining the last sentence.
“Also, I believe it is group’s intention to disrupt those who participate in the prayer station, which would also be a violation of the freedom of religion amendment. For these reasons, I cannot approve of your request,” Fouts wrote.
I have little enough patience with people who are dumb enough to think that in the U.S. government is allowed to protect religion by discriminating against the irreligious, but I have particular scorn for politicians who are so unstrategic as to put that idea on record as the official reason for their actions.
The mayor also said, that “Irregardless, I didn’t feel at the time that it was necessary to have a reason station.” Your feelings don’t matter, your honor, the law does.