SHREVEPORT, La. — The Shreveport, Louisiana Police Department will no longer host community prayer vigils after receiving a complaint from one of the nation’s most conspicuous professing atheist organizations, which also identifies itself as a Church-State separation group.
According to reports, the Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) sent a letter to Shreveport Police Chief Alan Crump in August to assert that the prayer vigils are unconstitutional because they prefer “religion over non-religion” and run afoul of the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause.
According to the Shreveport Police Department Facebook page, the gatherings have been held since early 2017 and have been served as a means to combat violence in the city. Local television station KTBS reports that there have been 45 violent death in Shreveport in 2018.
“The Shreveport Police Department Pastors on Patrol invite the community to come together with police officers, police administration, and city leaders for a time of prayer for our city,” one event post reads. “There will be a time of praise and worship with the Airport Park Community Choir as well as a time of prayer for peace in our city.”
Crump’s bio also notes that Crump serves as the pastor of Republican Missionary Baptist Church, and has three degrees from the Inter-Baptist Theological Seminary.
However, FFRF told reporters that “[r]eligion and government do not mix,” and that when a police force promotes religion, “[i]t has a threatening feeling to those of us who are not Christian.”
“Citizens interact with and rely on
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