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Michigan City Fined $100K for Barring Atheist Exhibition from City Hall

Carrie Dedrick | Friday, March 6, 2015

Michigan City Fined $100K for Barring Atheist Exhibition from City Hall

A city in Michigan has been fined $100,000 after its mayor refused to allow an atheist “reason station” to operate in the city hall building. 

Christian Today reports that the city hall in Warren, Michigan had a “prayer station” that was manned by volunteers. When an atheist group sought permission to erect a “reason station” next to it, the mayor James R. Fouts denied the request. 

Fouts said that the city hall atrium welcomed all religions but could not allow the reason station because atheism is not a religion. 

"It has no tenets, no place of worship and no congregation,” Fouts said. 

"To my way of thinking, your group is strictly an anti-religion group intending to deprive all organized religions of their constitutional freedoms or at least discourage the practice of religion. The City of Warren cannot allow this."

Several atheist groups including the Freedom From Religion Foundation brought a lawsuit upon the city of Warren and Judge Michael Hluchaniuk ruled that the atheist reason station should "be allowed to operate on terms not less favorable than the terms granted to the prayer station...” The city will be responsible for $100,000 in fines, court fees and damages. 

Publication date: March 6, 2015