Freedom from Religion debate heats up at Warren City Hall

Freedom from Religion debate heats up at Warren City Hall

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WARREN, Mich. (WJBK) - Is Freedom from Religion the same concept as Freedom of Religion? That's the debate one Warren resident is raising at City Hall.

The debate started when Douglas Marshall learned Warren Mayor Jim Fouts allows a prayer station inside the atrium of City Hall.

Marshall says he then petitioned City hall to allow him to set up his own "religious" station inside the atrium.

He tells FOX 2's Amy Lange the banner would read 'Reason Station' and would include the quote from Thomas Jefferson, "Question with boldness even the existence of God." He says he petitioned to have the station for one full year, set up two days a week, beginning May 1.

Coincidentally, May 1 also is the National Day of Prayer.

Fouts denied Marshall's request, saying "I will continue to support all groups regardless of race or religion, but I will not support a group that denigrates those groups."

The two also apparently have a long history of fighting in court over religious displays.

But marshall argues the mayor  is missing the rest of the First Ammendment.

"The mayor is restricting my freedom of speech. He is allowing religious speech, but not non-religious speech," Marshall says.

"I emphasize one thing: The government cannot restrict an individual's freedom of speech, but an individual cannot restrict the government's freedom of speech," Fouts says.
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