I mentioned that it was odd that the Charleston, Illinois Parks & Rec department was sponsoring all these evangelical Christian events, including a trip to the Ark Park. Well, they aren’t anymore: The FFRF slammed them for unconstitutional religious advocacy, and they canceled.
When it comes to the secular U.S. government, the City of Charleston has acted in an unconstitutional manner to endorse any religious mission facilitated by such attractions. The government cannot organize, fund, or sponsor any trip to either the Creation Museum or to Ark Encounter. Ryan Jayne, the FFRF staff attorney, sent a letter to Rachael Cunningham, the City Attorney, stating the government is actively doing an unconstitutional action by advertising and organizing any trip to religious attractions like a Christian museum and a Christian theme park. Funding such activities also go against the United States government ethos. The letter continued saying although it is a laudatory aim to encourage citizens to attend a recreational event, pushing a religious attraction alienates those who are not Christians and belong to any other faith or to no faith. “Surely there are appropriate secular activities, in addition to the planned trip to the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens, that would not attempt to convert attendees to a particular religion.”
I imagine some people in Charleston are seething right now. Good.