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AHLC Reprimands AZ Gov. Ducey for Church-State Violation

For Immediate Release


Sarah Henry, (202) 238-9088 ext. 105,

(Washington D.C., April 23, 2019) – American Humanist Association (AHA) Legal Director David Niose just sent a warning notice to Arizona Governor Doug Ducey after the public official posted a sectarian Christian post, including a biblical reference, on his official and public Facebook page.

“Easter is not an excuse for elected officials to disregard their responsibilities to all of their constituents,” noted Niose. “Today’s warning joins a number of others we’ve sent this week as our attorneys work to remind politicians of their constitutional oaths.”

The notice reminds the governor that “such blatantly religious statements on a government-run page, unambiguously promoting Christian beliefs, are seen as problematic by many in your community,” as reinforced by comments on the post reflecting concerns about a potential violation of the wall of separation between church and state and the concerned citizens who brought the post to the AHA’s attention.

“Promoting a large Christian cross, a citation to the New Testament, and exclusively Christian beliefs, as Governor Ducey did, is highly disrespectful to the many Arizonans who do not practice Christianity, but deserve equal consideration by their public officials,” explains Roy Speckhardt, executive director of the American Humanist Association. “Many Americans across the spectrum of belief disapprove of this kind of unnecessary entanglement of religion and government.”

The notice points out that failure by the governor to correct this behavior “in the future could only be seen as a brazen disregard for church-state separation, thus inviting litigation.”


The American Humanist Association (AHA) works to protect the rights of humanists, atheists, and other nontheistic Americans, including over 1,000 members in Arizona. The AHA advances the ethical and life-affirming worldview of humanism, which—without beliefs in gods or other supernatural forces—encourages individuals to live informed and meaningful lives that aspire to the greater good of humanity.

Special thanks to the Louis J. Appignani Foundation and the Herb Block Foundation for their support of the Appignani Humanist Legal Center.

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