KIOWA, Co. — A poster quoting a Scripture about marriage has been removed from a Colorado county clerk’s office following a complaint by a prominent professing atheist group.
As previously reported, the Wisconsin-based Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF) recently sent email correspondence to several county clerks and two state lawmakers who had been discussing in an email chain this summer how those with religious objections to same-sex “marriage” should proceed with handling the issuance of licenses.
As part of the discussion, Elbert County Clerk Dallas Schroeder explained that he had a poster created last year that cites a Scripture about marriage. The poster partially quotes from I Corinthians 7:2, and reads, “…let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.”
“I talked with a local artist, who is also a Christian, and he created a beautiful poster which I have had hanging for about a year,” Schroeder replied in the group message. “There is no way to miss it if you are in for a marriage license. It is a picture of a bride standing on a hill with the groom walking up the hill to meet her.”
“I am not denying anyone service,” he said. “My thought process is that they have to see the poster and if they choose to violate God’s written word, then that is on their head. I have warned them.”
FFRF recently sent a letter of complaint to those involved in the conversation, not only to contend that the clerks “must issue licenses to gay couples whatever [their] personal religion,” but to also assert that Schroeder’s poster is unlawful.
“Mr. Schroeder is displaying words from his religion’s holy book to issue a religious warning to all citizens in a government building,” wrote staff attorney Andrew Seidel, according to a news release about the matter. “This is unconstitutional.”
Now, FFRF reports that the poster has been removed, and was likely taken down on Thursday, the day after FFRF asked to be put in touch with Schroeder’s attorney.
“We’re glad that the poster, which was meant to intimidate LGBT citizens and promote Schroeder’s personal religion, has been removed from government property,” Seidel said in a statement. “The government must remain neutral on matters of religion and quoting the Bible is hardly neutral.”
In 1843, Noah Webster, who authored the first American dictionary, wrote, “The moral principles and precepts contained in the Scriptures ought to form the basis of all our civil constitutions and laws. … All the miseries and evils which men suffer from—vice, crime, ambition, injustice, oppression, slavery and war—proceed from their despising or neglecting the precepts contained in the Bible.”
“Religion: Includes a belief in the being and perfections of God, in the revelation of His will to man, in man’s obligation to obey His commands, in a state of reward and punishment, and in man’s accountableness to God; and also true godliness or piety of life, with the practice of all moral duties,” he also wrote in his 1828 definition of religion.