Turtles all the way down

Atheist group to Montgomery police: Stop sending evangelical pastors to crime scenes

Posted by doctore0 on October 9, 2013

American Atheists — the group the erected the country’s first atheist monument on government property — has sent a letter advising the Montgomery, AL police that their “Operation Good Shepherd” program, which uses public funds to place Evangelical Christian pastors at crime scenes, is unconstitutional. Raw Story spoke with Dave Muscato of American Atheists, who said that the program violates the First and Fourteenth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution.

“Operation Good Shepherd is a taxpayer-funded program that sends Christian pastors to crime scenes in order to preach Christianity to the victims of crimes and the surrounding people,” Muscato explained.

The pastors are all volunteers, but they are trained by on-duty police officers on department time and the program has “incidental administrative costs” that range from transportation to ID badges for the clergy.

“These pastors have access to the crime scenes, which isn’t appropriate for someone who isn’t involved in legal work or crime scene investigation or isn’t a police officer,” Muscato said.

“And this is blatantly unconstitutional,” he said, “having someone there to preach who is provided by the police.”

Muscato said that for public monies to go to this kind of effort aimed at citizens at times when they are in crisis and at their most vulnerable is a violation of U.S. Constitution. Citizens are protected under the First Amendment, which prohibits the establishment of Christianity or any other faith as the national religion as well as under the Fourteenth Amendment, which guarantees equal protection under the law to all Americans.

Read more

Crazy Operation Good Shepherd Graduation video: duh

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