MADISON, Wisc. — The governor of Wisconsin is refusing the demands of a prominent atheist activist organization to remove a Scripture citation from his Twitter and Facebook pages.
As previously reported, the Madison-based Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF) sent a letter to Walker this past week after becoming aware that he had simply posted “Philippians 4:13″ as his status on his social media accounts last Sunday. The Scripture reads, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
“This braggadocio verse coming from a public official is rather disturbing,” FFRF wrote in the letter. “To say, ‘I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me,’ seems more like a threat, or the utterance of a theocratic dictator, than of a duly elected civil servant.”
It demanded that the governor delete the post, contending that it is unlawful for Walker to endorse religion on his official social media pages.
“On behalf of our membership, we ask you to immediately delete this religious message from your official gubernatorial Facebook and Twitter,” the letter stated. “May we hear from you at your earliest convenience?”
However, Laurel Patrick, the press secretary for Walker, told reporters this week that the governor will not bow to atheist demands.
“Governor Walker will not remove the post on his social media,” she wrote in an emailed statement. “The verse was part of a devotional he read that morning, which inspired him, and he chose to share it.”
Patrick said that the Scripture was “a reflection of his thoughts for the day,” and that he often uses social media “to engage with Wisconsinites on matters of public policy,” as well as to provide his constituents with a more personable “sense of who he is.”
FFRF’s Dan Barker told The Blaze on Friday that he still finds the Scripture citation to be “rude” and arrogant,” but explained that unless Walker posts Biblical references on a regular basis, the organization is unlikely to sue.
“We’re not going to take any legal action on one abuse,” Barker said. “And it is an abuse—and he should know it’s one.”
“We’re still complaining about it, but we can’t do anything more than complain,” he stated. “We think it’s inappropriate for him to use his official page to promote his view.”
Walker, the son of a former Baptist minister, identifies as an evangelical Christian. He attends Meadowbrook Church, a non-denominational assembly in Wauwatosa, with his wife Tonette and two sons.
Photo: Gage Skidmore