GOP mayor compares atheists to Nazis and the KKK

Mayor Jim Fouts refuses to give atheists a station in city hall because of "values"

Published July 25, 2014 3:40PM (EDT)

  (iStock/ Mark Poprocki)
(iStock/ Mark Poprocki)

The city of Warren, Michigan, and its mayor, James Fouts, have denied atheists a "reason station" in the city hall atrium. And Mayor Fouts made a rather outrageous comparison as to why.

The atrium in the Warren Civic Center can be used by groups for booths and displays: There is a "prayer station," and currently a Ramadan display, according to the Christian Post.

The ACLU and other groups are suing the city and mayor on behalf of Douglas Marshall, the man who requested the atheist booth. From the filed complaint:

"When the government opens a forum for private speech, it must treat viewpoints equally, and it is strictly forbidden from favoring religious expression over non-religious speech. In this case, the government has opened a forum in which religious speech is allowed, but plaintiff's atheist speech is prohibited. This is unconstitutional viewpoint discrimination."

When asked about upholding the ban on the atheist booth, Mayor Fouts responded by subtly comparing atheists to two terribly evil groups:

"The city has certain values that I don’t believe are in general agreement with having an atheist station, nor in general agreement with having a Nazi station or Ku Klux Klan station. I cannot accept or will not allow a group that is disparaging of another group to have a station here."

h/t Mediaite, Christian Post, TPM

By Sarah Gray

Sarah Gray is an assistant editor at Salon, focusing on innovation. Follow @sarahhhgray or email

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Atheism Atheist Jim Fouts Mayor Michigan Religion