Thursday, January 05, 2017

State Sends Religious Publication To Families of Auto Accident Victims

The American Humanist Association in a press release yesterday called attention to an unusual state government practice of disseminating a religious publication. The South Carolina Department of Public Safety sends to families of individuals killed in auto accidents a book titled "A Time To Grieve."  The book is published by a Christian ministry, and contains numerous Bible passages and religious messages offering religious comfort to those who have lost a loved one.  In a letter to the Department of Public Safety, the Appignani Humanist Legal Center sets out at length its Establishment Clause objections to the Department's practice.

UPDATE: As reported by The State (Jan.5), in response to the complaint, the Department of Public Safety has decided to stop the distribution, saying:
We regret that any family member would have misunderstood our intentions or was offended by our effort to offer compassion during such a difficult time. Since this concern was brought to our attention, we have re-evaluated the 'A Time to Grieve' and will no longer send those particular pieces of literature to families following the death of a loved one in a motor-vehicle collision.