ACLU To Gov. Haley: You Can’t Spend Tax Dollars To Promote Religious Events


South Carolina’s Gov. Nikki Haley is actively promoting a prayer rally, scheduled in her state for June 13, and will be a featured speaker at the event, too. Coordinated by the American Renewal Project, an organization that promotes Christian faith in government, this “The Response” event calls on attendees to fast before the rally on Saturday, when they will ask Jesus (and not elected officials) to correct problems in the country.

Her active role in the event might be illegal, though, the ACLU of South Carolina says, if Haley’s office has made any financial contribution to, or incurred expense from, the rally.

As a result, on June 11, ACLU-South Carolina formally requested that Haley release all records of any funding or resources her office may have used to promote and/or attend the event.

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According to The Post & Courier’s Schuyler Kropf, ACLU-South Carolina legal director Susan Dunn said:

The public has a right to know whether any public funds are being expended and how much it costs for our governor to participate in this prayer event.

RELATED:  Gov. Haley: Correct All Our Problems By Praying With Her This Weekend

Haley’s active participation in and promotion of the event is a constitutional contrast, too, says Victoria Middleton, executive director of the state ACLU.

Prayer is an act of worship, not an act of governance. The unfinished work of governing – improving our schools, repairing roads, reforming our criminal justice system – deserves the full attention of all our elected officials.

In its promotion of the event, “The Response” says:

America’s issues are not primarily financial, political or moral. Neither does America’s hope lie in one leader or institution. Our hope is found in the One who desires for us to turn to Him with our hearts. This is our response – to call on Jesus on behalf of America, that He might hear our cry and heal our land.

In a video promoting the event, Haley says that only Christ, not government, can correct problems in the country:

[P]ray that we remember that we’re not in charge.

Haley has 15 business days to reply to ACLU-South Carolina’s request.

Attendance at Saturday’s 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. religious event is expected to hit 10,000, which is maximum capacity of the hosting North Charleston Coliseum.


Featured image by DefenseImagery.mil (public domain) via Wikimedia 

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