Firefighters Ordered to Attend Church
willesser at YAHOO.COM
Wed Oct 4 21:12:19 PDT 2000
An interesting scenario . . .
"PARMA HEIGHTS, Ohio (AP) _ Six firefighters claim
their First Amendment rights were violated last May
when they allegedly were ordered by their chief to
attend a church service.
The firefighters said they will file a federal lawsuit
Wednesday claiming the chief's order violated the
constitutional provision of separation of church and
They said Fire Chief Bryan Sloan told the firefighters
their attendance at Parma Heights Baptist Church was
mandatory for Civic Appreciation Day, during which the
congregation was to give awards to police officers and
The full story can be found at
It's an interesting story but unfortunately the news
brief doesn't give any information about what the
services at the church were like. If the services
were simply civic recognition events *held* in a
church, I can't see that there would be any claim.
And even if the awards were being given by the church
as a group, I don't see what the problem was.
Only if the awards ceremony was somehow connected to a
religious event, i.e. prayer service, etc. do I see
mandatory attendence as a problem. Ultimately, I have
to echo the frustration of the city council president
on this one, who felt that the matter could have been
handled internally instead of the firefighters going
immediately to the ACLU.
Will Esser --- Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam
Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein
Three First Union Center
401 South Tryon St., Suite 3000
Charlotte NC 28202
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