An atheist group is going after a Republican senator over his repeated posting of Bible verses on social media and demanding that he stop with his "sermonizing."
The undeterred lawmaker sent a message to the group this week: get bent.
What's all this now?
Louisiana Sen. Bill Cassidy (R) has tradition of posting scripture to Twitter and Facebook on weekends. Here are his verses from the last three weekends in August:
"And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you." - Psalm 9:10— U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (@U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D.)1597593744.0
"When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when y… https://t.co/XUv1vQlttN— U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (@U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D.)1598277749.0
“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 tr… https://t.co/y4jxEAWyn3— U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (@U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D.)1598801302.0
Naturally, this upset the radical Freedom From Religion Foundation activist atheist organization.
The group claimed that a "concerned Louisiana resident contacted FFRF" to report the senator's regular offense of posting verses to social media. FFRF posted on item on its website, accusing Cassidy of violating "the spirit of the First Amendment" with his actions and insisting that he "cease sermonizing" on social media:
The Freedom From Religion Foundation is asking a U.S. senator to cease sermonizing on his official social media accounts.
A concerned Louisiana resident contacted FFRF to report that every Sunday, bible verses are posted to Sen. Bill Cassidy's official government Facebook page.
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[.]
In an August letter to the senator, FFRF's co-presidents, Annie Laurie Gaylor and Dan Barker, told Cassidy that he needed to "refrain from posting messages that proselytize or endorse religion on [his] official government social media accounts" because such postings, they said, are a violation of the separation of church and state.
According to Gaylor and Barker, Cassidy's actions "needlessly alienate" his constituency and a third of Americans:
As a senator, you represent a diverse population that consists of not only Christians, but also minority religious and nonreligious citizens. Religious endorsements made in your official capacity send a message that excludes the 35 percent of Americans who are not Christian, which includes the 26 percent who identify as nonreligious. These messages needlessly alienate the 1 non-Christian and nonreligious citizens you represent, turning them into political outsiders in their own community.
It would be entirely possible, of course, for you to send uplifting and motivational messages to your constituents without ostracizing a significant portion of those you represent. By couching your sentiments in exclusively religious terms, and by quoting exclusively from one religion's holy book, you unnecessarily exclude a significant portion of the community. Regardless of your intent, this social media post sends the message to your minority religious and nonreligious constituents that their participation in the political process is less valued than that of their Christian counterparts.
The duo closed their letter requesting that Cassidy remove all of his religious posts from his government social media accounts and to "avoid making similar posts in the future."
How did Cassidy respond?
Sen. Cassidy offered his response to FFRF's demands in a tweet Tuesday afternoon.
"The Freedom From Religion Foundation has demanded that I stop sharing Bible verses with you," he wrote. "The left won't bully me into canceling Christianity."
"Their request is denied," he concluded.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation has demanded that I stop sharing Bible verses with you. The left won’t bully m… https://t.co/UIAu4FjeZW— U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (@U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D.)1598984530.0
FFRF responded Wednesday by advising Cassidy to "cool it on all the religion" and calling him "unconstitutionally stubborn" while labeling his response to their demands as "obstinacy."
Gaylor said the senator "is willfully misunderstanding the issue," but she did not indicate whether her organization planned to take any future steps to stop the senator's sharing of scripture.
(H/T: Pure Flix)