WASHINGTON — A Louisiana senator says he won’t stop posting from the pages of Scripture on Sundays after the Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) requested that he take down such quotes from his official social media pages and refrain from citing Scripture on his government accounts in the future.
“The Freedom From Religion Foundation has demanded that I stop sharing Bible verses with you. The left won’t bully me into canceling Christianity. Their request is denied,” Sen. Bill Cassidy posted to his accounts on Tuesday.
As previously reported, Cassidy posts Scripture to his congressional accounts each week, including this past weekend when he shared John 14:27, in which Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
FFRF sent a letter to Cassidy on Aug. 14 after a “concerned Louisiana resident” alerted them to the congressman’s weekly practice. It asserted that while Cassidy can engage in religious expression in his private life, using his government social media accounts to share Scripture violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.
“We write to request that you refrain from posting messages that proselytize or endorse religion on your official government social media accounts,” the letter read. “When a government official uses his elected office, including governmental platforms such as an official Facebook page, to promote his personal religious beliefs, he violates the spirit of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.”
“The Supreme Court has long held that the Establishment Clause ‘mandates government neutrality between religion and religion, and between religion and nonreligion.’ Your office violates this constitutional mandate when it proselytizes the Christian faith to
all constituents, such as directing them to ‘Trust in the Lord,’” it said, referring to his post from July 26, when he shared Proverbs 3:5-6.
The correspondence also contended that Cassidy alienates his constituents who are not Christian and treats them as “political outsiders in their own community.”
FFRF consequently asked that Cassidy delete all religious posts from his official social media pages and refrain from sharing Scripture in the future.
On Tuesday, Cassidy said that he would not oblige the Church-State separation group’s request, referring to the letter as an attempt to “bully” him into “canceling Christianity” from the public square.
The following day, FFRF published a news release opining that Cassidy was being “unconstitutionally stubborn” as he “doubled down on his obstinacy.”
“Sen. Cassidy is willfully misunderstanding the issue,” Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor, who co-authored the letter with her husband Dan Barker, said in a statement. “As someone serving the Constitution, he can’t impose his religion on his constituents using official channels.”
While many posted opposing comments under Cassidy’s remark, some did express their support of his stance.
“Thank you for standing up to them. Many of our country’s problems are the result of removing God from our society; time to put God as our priority again and follow the words of the Bible,” one wrote.
“Senator, I’m not even a Christian and I have absolutely ZERO problems with you sharing Bible verses,” another commented.
“Amazing that American leaders for over 250 years have quoted Scripture, prayed in public and displayed their faith in speeches. Now it’s cancel culture at it again,” a third remarked.
As previously reported, on March 23, 1798 — less than 12 years after the signing of the U.S. Constitution — John Adams, the second president of the United States, called for a day of national repentance, prayer and fasting.
“[T]he safety and prosperity of nations ultimately and essentially depend on the protection and the blessing of Almighty God, and the national acknowledgment of this truth is not only an indispensable duty which the people owe to Him, but a duty whose natural influence is favorable to the promotion of that morality and piety without which social happiness cannot exist nor the blessings of a free government be enjoyed,” he wrote.
Former U.S. Secretary of State Daniel Webster (1782-1852), who served under three presidents — William Henry Harrison, John Tyler and Millard Fillmore — exhorted in Plymouth, Massachusetts just 33 years after the writing of the Constitution, “[L]et us not forget the religious character of our origin. Our fathers were brought hither by their high veneration for the Christian religion. They journeyed by its light, and labored in its hope. They sought to incorporate its principles with the elements of their society, and to diffuse its influence through all their institutions, civil, political, or literary.”
“Let us cherish these sentiments, and extend this influence still more widely, in full conviction that this is the happiest society which partakes in the highest degree of the mild and peaceful spirit of Christianity.”