Legal Group Sues North Carolina Library after Denied Lecture Use for ‘Religious Instruction’

ICC Note: The Christian group, Liberty Counsel, has filed a lawsuit against a North Carolina public library after being denied access to their lecture space because they would be taking part in “religious instruction.” The group often presents lectures across the United States about the “role of Christianity in the founding of America.” The Liberty Counsel has since taken the issue to court through a federal lawsuit, claiming that the library violated their First and Fourteenth Amendment rights.

By Heather Clark

05/05/2015 United States (Christian News Network) – A Christian legal organization has filed a federal lawsuit against a public library in North Carolina after officials denied use of the facility for a lecture simply because the presentation was considered to be “religious instruction.”

Liberty Counsel, which has offices in Virginia, Florida and Washington, D.C., regularly conducts lectures throughout the country on the role of Christianity in the founding of America. In March 2013 and November 2014, the group sought to use the Cameron Village Regional Library in Wake, N.C. to present a lecture. However, it was denied both times.

According to a complaint filed last week in federal court, in March 2013, while initially granting use of the library’s meeting room, representative Susan Lane Partisan responded to Liberty Counsel’s reservation application by noting that “political meetings and religious instruction, services or ceremonies are not permitted” at the library.

Concerned that the library might interrupt the meeting, the organization replied by clarifying the content of the presentation.

“As you know, we plan on presenting an educational program on the foundations of America from a Christian perspective,” wrote President Anita Staver. “So, we will be quoting extensively from the Bible, the founding fathers’ religious views, and sermons from the founding era. We also plan to begin the program with a short devotional from the founding era.”

Lane then replied by cancelling the reservation.

“Since you are telling me your program includes religious instruction, then no, you would not be able to use our rooms according to our guidelines,” she wrote.


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