Republican Gov. Kay Ivey of Alabama is using her official Facebook and YouTube pages to preach Christianity.
In a YouTube video on Dec. 25, Ivey spread her endorsement of Christianity, notes the Friendly Atheist:
We must never forget Christmas really celebrates one thing: the birth of Jesus Christ. During the holidays, our homes are filled with lights, from the candles we burn to the lights that twinkle on our trees. We use lights at Christmas because they symbolize that we have the light of Christ.
Candles and lights on Christmas trees are never mentioned in the Bible.
On Facebook, Ivey claimed on Dec. 25 that Jesus is the Lord of Alabamians:
My fellow Alabamians, today, as we celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ, I pray that each of us share His light and love with one another.
As we’re upon the Christmas season, reflecting on the past year, let us be filled with hope and joy as we look toward the opportunities that lie before us.
May your days ahead be filled with the light of God and His abundant grace. Merry Christmas to you and your families!
The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) has called on Ivey to stop prosletyzing:
As a government entity, the office of the governor cannot endorse religious messages. These religious messages violate the Establishment Clause by communicating that the department and the state of Alabama prefer religion, specifically Christianity, over nonreligion and all minority faiths.
“The Supreme Court has long recognized that the First Amendment ‘mandates governmental neutrality between religion and religion, and between religion and nonreligion,'” FFRF Director of Strategic Response Andrew Seidel writes to Ivey. “When you use your office to promote exclusively religious messages, you have violated this neutrality.”
FFRF asserts that the Facebook post conveys a message to non-Christians that they are not “favored members of the political community,” to quote a landmark Supreme Court decision.
These citizens should not be made to feel like outsiders in their own state because the government they support with their taxes prominently places religious endorsements on its social media page.
While many Alabamians may support these religious sentiments, a significant proportion are excluded. Overall, 24 percent of Americans identify as religiously unaffiliated and nearly 30 percent are non-Christians, either practicing a minority religion or no religion at all.