Republican Arizona Governor Doug Ducey has resisted demands from a secular group to take down a Facebook post where he sent Easter greetings and cited a Bible verse to celebrate the religious event.
Earlier this week, the Secular Communities of Arizona, who describe themselves as an organization to ensure secular government, called on Ducey to remove the post—which says, “He is risen! Have a happy and blessed Easter!” and includes an image of a cross and bible verse—and claimed the post was unconstitutional as it had allegedly breached the church and state separation.
He is risen! Have a happy and blessed Easter!
“To send a government greeting on religious holidays, the government must send to every single religion,” the group’s attorney Dianne Post wrote in a letter (pdf).
She added, “elected officials should not use their government position and government property to promote their religious views,” while adding that the courts have “struck down symbolism that unites government with religion.”
Ducey, who is a practicing Catholic, did not agree with the group’s reasoning and fired back saying, “We won’t be removing this post. Ever. Nor will we be removing our posts for Christmas, Hanukkah, Rosh Hashanah, Palm Sunday, Passover or any other religious holiday.”
We won’t be removing this post. Ever. Nor will we be removing our posts for Christmas, Hanukkah, Rosh Hashanah, Palm Sunday, Passover or any other religious holiday. We support the First Amendment, and are happy to provide copies of the Constitution to anyone who hasn’t read it. https://t.co/UzZpLAzzuW
— Doug Ducey (@dougducey) April 25, 2019
He even offered to provide copies of the Constitution to his critics. He wrote, “We support the First Amendment and are happy to provide copies of the Constitution to anyone who hasn’t read it.”
The post has generated a debate among his constituents, with many praising the governor for standing up for what he believes is right, despite the pressure.
“This is why I voted for you, Doug! Keep it up, we support you!” one social media user wrote.
“We may have our differences, but I applaud my Governor DougDucey and The Governor’s Office in Defending and Supporting Everyone’s Constitutional Rights, including Religion. Mutual Respect Equals Tolerance, Understanding, And Civility. God Bless Governor Ducey!” another wrote.
“Kudos to dougducey for speaking up. Lets celebrate ALL people and OUR constitutional rights,” another social media user wrote.
“Keep it up Doug! I’m not a Christian myself, but I support everybody’s First Amendment right,” one person wrote.
Along with the Easter post, the governor also posted a Passover greeting and a less religious Easter greeting post.
Wishing all Arizonans a #HappyEaster! May you have a wonderful day surrounded by friends and loved ones.