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Critically Thinking about the Freedom to Believe

LaGrange, Georgia — April 22, 2015. Today, the Center for Religious Expression (CRE) sent an information letter to the Superintendent of Troup County School System and Principal of Troup County High School, encouraging them to stand firm in the face of baseless charges from a renowned atheist group.

On March 23, 2015, Troup County High School hosted Mr. Eric Hovind, who agreed to share his insights on critical thinking with an upper school debate class. But after the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) caught wind of it, they promptly sent a threatening letter to the school, harping on the prospect of a million dollar judgment, for merely allowing Hovind to speak at the school. According to FFRF, the U.S. Constitution prohibits Hovind from speaking in a public school setting because he is a Christian who holds biblically-based beliefs about creation.

Hovind is the President of Creation Today, a Christian apologetics ministry that challenges assumptions about evolution within the scientific community. As an experienced debater, he was an ideal guest to speak on the topic of critical thinking to a debate class.

FFRF disagreed, not because of anything Hovind said, but because of what he believes. They contended that Hovind − as a Christian who runs a Christian ministry – should be disqualified from speaking on any topic in a public school because his speech, regardless of what he says, is tantamount to “religious instruction” in violation of the Establishment Clause.

CRE’s letter explains that, contrary to the FFRF’s wild assertions, the First Amendment prohibits discrimination based on an individual’s personal religious views. The letter also shows how the cases to which FFRF relies actually support the constitutional principle of government neutrality towards religion.

“FFRF are bullies. The discrimination they advance against people of faith is untenable and downright dangerous” said CRE Chief Counsel Nate Kellum. “Just like anyone else, Christians have a place in society. Christians cannot be banished from participation in public affairs due to their personal beliefs. ”

Center for Religious Expression is a servant-oriented, non-profit 501(c)(3) Christian legal organization dedicated to the glory of God and the religious freedom of His people. For more information, visit http://www.crelaw.org.

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