Monday, July 15, 2013

Liberty Institute backs programs denied grant over prayer & God

In Louisiana, the U. S. Department of Justice, under Eric Holder, has informed a local sheriff that he must prohibit the local chapter of the Young Marines and Youth Diversion programs from participating in voluntary prayer and must excise the word "God" from the oath taken by program members. The sheriff says that because he refused to submit to the DOJ demands he has lost a $30,000 grant for the programs.

In response, The Liberty Institute has sent a demand letter to the DOJ Civil Rights Division and the Louisiana Commission on Law Enforcement (LCLE) about their decision to deny funds for programs. The DOJ action was triggered when a March DOJ audit of the program noted their “special emphasis on the love of God and fidelity to our country.”

The letter states that the DOJ’s denial of funds to the youth programs violates the First Amendment’s Free Exercise Clause because it constitutes unlawful viewpoint discrimination. It demands that the programs' grant application be approved without delay or special conditions.

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