A Michigan mayor who recently lost a lawsuit brought by the ACLU after he banned an atheist “reason station” on city property is now distributing “In God We Trust” posters from his office at City Hall.
According to C&G News, Warren Mayor Jim Fouts is offering the posters free of charge to the public despite the city paying $100,000 in costs, damages and fees after Fouts refused to allow the atheist station to be set up next to a “prayer station” in the City Hall atrium.
Fouts explained that his decision to hand out the posters on city property stems in part from losing the recent lawsuit.
“To some degree it is,” Fouts said. “Obviously, I was concerned about the court order that forced the city of Warren to have a reason station within our City Hall atrium. The prayer station had been functioning for years without any problems or any controversy. They’re now allowed to have an atheist station under the euphemistic guise of a reason station.”
According to Warren resident Douglas Marshall who petitioned to set up the reason station, Mayor Fouts still doesn’t seem to understand the separation between church and state.
“The mayor’s continually tried to promote Christian religious beliefs, and it sounds like that’s just another attempt,” Marshall said. “He doesn’t understand the First Amendment. Government is supposed to be completely neutral when it comes to religious beliefs.”
Fouts, noting that “In God We Trust” was established as the national motto in the 50’s, said he believes his office won’t be the only one distributing posters.
“I think the city of Warren will become the most prominent and the most visible and maybe the largest city to do this,” Fouts stated. “I’m not alone in doing this.”
(UPDATE): The original version of this story stated that Mayor Fouts compared atheists to Nazis and the KKK. The mayor disputes that allegation and said that his words were taken out of context by the Associated Press.
(h/t Friendly Atheist)