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Religion Today Blog Christian Blog and Commentary

IA Gov.’s Bible Reading Marathon Proclamation is Illegal, Say Atheist Groups

  • Veronica Neffinger
    Religious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
  • 2016 Jun 08
  • Comments

Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad’s proclamation of a Bible reading marathon is under attack from three atheist groups.


According to, the three atheists groups that oppose the proclamation are the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF), and the Iowa Atheists and Freethinkers.


The proclamation, which Branstad signed in April, encourages participation in prayer and Bible-reading events that will be organized by Christian groups. The events will take place in courthouses in all 99 of Iowa’s counties from June 30 through July 3. 


The ACLU and FFRF say they are are considering legal action if the proclamation is not revoked. They claim the proclamation violates the Establishment Clause of the Constitution which says that the government should not make a law “respecting the establishment of religion.”


First Liberty Institute, a legal group aimed at protecting religious freedom, has volunteered to defend Branstad should the atheist groups file a lawsuit.



Publication date: June 8, 2016