Scott Walker, the Republican governor of Wisconsin, has a Twi**er feed, and he’s unfortunate enough to be in the same state as the headquarters of the Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF). Here’s a tw**t he made on March 16, note that a.) it’s an “official Twitter account”, meaning he’s speaking as governor, and b.) his tweet is a religous—specifically Christian—one:
The King James Bible gives that verse as follows:
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Bad move! On an official government website, it’s neither kosher nor Constitutional to push religious views. The inevitable result, a letter from FFRF co-presidents Annie Laurie Gaylor and Dan Barker, is reported on their website. (The screenshot below is from the Daily News, and you can extract it and enlarge it if you want to read the whole thing.)
The relevant passage of Annie Laurie and Dan’s letter:
To say, “I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me”, seems more like a threat, or the utterance of a theocratic dictator, than of a duly elected civil servant.
After citing the relevant case law prohibiting this kind of behavior, they ask mildly, “May we hear form you at your earliest convenience?”
I don’t think they’ve heard back from him directly, but the governor has issued a statement flatly refusing to remove his tw**t. As The Blaze reported on Friday:
“Governor Walker will not remove the post on his social media,” Walker spokeswoman press secretary Laurel Patrick said in an email. “The verse was part of a devotional he read that morning, which inspired him, and he chose to share it.”
Patrick said Walker’s social media accounts are frequently used “to engage with Wisconsinites on matters of public policy” as well as to give constituents “a sense of who he is.”
She said the scripture reference he posted on March 16 was simply “a reflection of his thoughts for the day.”
That doesn’t seem like a justification for using one’s position as governor to promote Christianity. Of course, had Walker tw**ted a passage from The God Delusion, he’d be in deep doo-doo.
I would have thought that, given the blatant proselytizing here, a lawsuit might be in the offing, but I guess the FFRF doesn’t want to squander its resources on a single tw**t. As they announced (again from The Blaze):
Barker said that the Freedom From Religion Foundation might take definitive action if Walker decided to post Bible messages on a more regular basis, but that in this case they will likely “look the other way.”
“We’re not going to take any legal action on one abuse,” he said. “And it is an abuse — and he should know it’s one.”
I think if Walker knows what’s good for him, he’ll keep any more Bible verses off of his official Twi**er account.