Humanists rap Beebe mayor for Christian emphasis of July 4 observance | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Humanists rap Beebe mayor for Christian emphasis of July 4 observance

Posted By on Thu, Jun 2, 2016 at 11:26 AM

click to enlarge LETTER TO BEEBE CITIZENS: On details of July 4 celebration.
  • LETTER TO BEEBE CITIZENS: On details of July 4 celebration.

The American Humanist Association is criticizing Beebe Mayor Mike Robertson for filling the city July 4 observance with promotion of Christianity by having a gospel group as featured entertainment at the city ballpark.

The objection was spurred by a letter from the mayor to residents about the event, particularly the portion highlighted above about the appearance of a gospel group, the Bowling Family, whose goal is "to usher in the presence of god and to celebrate the Christian message." At least one citizen objected to the proselytizing and got in touch with the Humanist Association and its legal center.

Said a Humanist release:

“Using the city’s Fourth of July festivities to promote a religious agenda is un-American,” said Roy Speckhardt, executive director of the American Humanist Association. “It shows a blatant disregard for the separation of church and state, established by our country’s founders, and it sends the discriminatory message that non-Christian citizens are not welcome in their own community.”

“The mayor cannot use his position as a city official to push his personal religious beliefs onto the community,” said David Niose, legal director of the American Humanist Association. “To avoid further violating the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, the city should remove its sponsorship of the performance and relocate it to a private venue. The mayor should also refrain from using the apparatus of government to promote religion.” 
A copy of the mayor’s letter can be viewed here.

We've been down this road in Beebe before.

In 2010, we wrote about Robertson's defense of public prayer and noted his hanging of the Ten Commandments in City Hall. He complained then about "excessive liberties" given non-believers. In 2014, he was said to be resistant to pagans who had plans for a temple and store.  He said that was just a routine zoning dispute.

I'm seeking a response on the latest. He told the Democrat-Gazette he'd stick with the gospel group, however.

Tags: , , , ,

From the ArkTimes store


Comments (22)

Showing 1-22 of 22

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-22 of 22

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • IHOP coming down, but .....

    I always scan the Little Rock City Board for items of interest this week and this one caught my eye: A zoning measure required by a proposal to tear down the IHOP at Markham and University.
    • Apr 30, 2016
  • Mitch Landrieu on the removal of Confederate tributes in New Orleans

    You want to hear the words of a strong mayor? Read the speech delivered by New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu on the removal of the last of four Lost Cause tributes in the city. THIS is a strong mayor. Brilliant.
    • May 22, 2017
  • Kenneth Starr: A comment from Betsey Wright

    Betsey Wright, former President Bill Clinton's chief of staff when he was Arkansas governor, responds bitterly to a New York Times article today quoting Whitewater Prosecutor Kenneth Starr's warm words about Clinton. She can't forget the lives Starr ruined in Arkansas.
    • May 24, 2016

Most Shared

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments



© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation