You Won't Believe Why This Atheist Group Is Going After Anne Graham Lotz

Anne Graham Lotz
Anne Graham Lotz (Public Domain)

An atheist group pressured a North Carolina sheriff's office to make changes to a prayer event with Billy Graham's daughter, Anne Graham Lotz.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) sent a letter to the Ashe County Sheriff's Office earlier this month objecting to the "Time of Prayer" event and the fact that it was being held at the sheriff's office. The group also complained that the sheriff's office was promoting the event on its website and social media pages, according to The Christian Post.

FFRF attorney Andrew Seidel says the group made the complaint on behalf of "a concerned local resident." He also says the sheriff's office should not associate itself with a prayer event and that the active promotion of the event is an endorsement of religion and a violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.

The letter demanded that the event be cancelled and that no future religious activities be held on the premises.

A lawyer representing Sheriff Terry Buchanan responded to the FFRF letter addressing several misconceptions about the prayer event.

Attorney Stacy Eggers IV explained that Lotz would be speaking in the parking lot of the sheriff's office—which does not violate the Constitution. She also pointed out that Lotz' event "is a protected free speech action."

"The sheriff's office parking lot is open to any group which may wish to hold a vigil or meeting at reasonable times and upon scheduling such event," Eggers wrote.

"Mr. Buchanan has received several requests from individuals regarding this policy, and he has indicated to them he would provide the space to them upon the same terms and conditions which are provided to Ms. Lotz," Eggers continued.

No Ashe County funds were used to promote the event, according to the letter, and no county employees are required to attend.

FFRF responded with more concerns prior to the event, according to The Christian Post.

"(W)e are concerned that ACSO deputies and perhaps Sheriff Buchanan will be appearing at the event, on government property, in their official uniforms, and may even speak using the titles that come with their office," Seidel wrote. "This would indeed exacerbate the appearance that the ACSO endorses Christianity, which is already imperiled given the history of the event."

Eggers again responded, assuring the FFRF that no uniformed officer will speak or participate in the event. She added that any officer in uniform would be a result of their "normal law enforcement duties or to address public safety issues."

FFRF praised the Ashe County Sherriff's office in a statement: "The Ashe County Sheriff's Office did the right thing by avoiding involving itself in a Christian prayer event and estranging non-Christian community members," said FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor. "The Ashe County officers should focus on their secular duties citizens trust them with."

Copyright The Christian Broadcasting Network, Inc., All rights reserved.

To contact us or to submit an article, click here.

Get Charisma's best content delivered right to your inbox! Never miss a big news story again. Click here to subscribe to the Charisma News newsletter.

Five ways to deepen your relationship with God, increase your faith and save money!

  • Deepen Your Relationship with God with a FREE eCourse: Click Here to view all of our free e-Courses. Favorite topics include Fear, Forgiveness, Holy Spirit, Supernatural, and How to Hear God.
  • Super Discounts and Close-Out Specials: Click Here to view all our bundles and close-out specials and save up to 86%! Prayer, Holy Spirit, Anointing, the Supernatural and more.
  • God Wants to Anoint Women Now: Rise up and enter the anointing of Deborah, Anna, Esther, Ruth and Hannah. You were called to go higher. Click Here to learn more.
  • Change Your Atmosphere and Circumstances Through Prayer! John Eckhardt's prayer bundle gives you six powerful books to help you pray and change any situation. Click Here.
  • HUGE Bible Sale!: Click Here to save up to 50% off a great selection of Bibles. Plus, get a free gift with each order!

Subscription Special: Subscribe to Charisma for Only $24.97 and get a free gift. With your subscription, you'll receive Born For Significance by best-selling author Bill Johnson. View Offer

Attention Pastors and Leaders: Leadership training and development are crucial for success. Enroll in a FREE 1-hour leadership mini-course by Dr. Mark Rutland. View Details

Charisma News - Informing believers with news from a Spirit-filled perspective