CGA Watch



Conn. Activist of the Year

September 2016


Armando Perez, the Bridgeport Police Chief, made statements at a police solidarity march blaming his city's problems on Atheists. Here's the the Conn. Post item on the march.

I sent him a letter, CCed to the mayor and the city council president, taking him to task for his statements. I ended it with, "In the future I suggest you try to identify root causes for crime which actually correlate with crime, and stop hunting for scapegoats. Atheists make up 10-15% of this country and are no longer allowing ourselves to be society's whipping boy." I know that both the Freedom from Religion Foundation and the Connecticut Coalition of Reason sent similar letters. I encourage you to do the same, especially if you live in Bridgeport. Letters from a town's taxpayers and voters have an especially strong effect.

His snail mail address is:
Chief Armando Perez
Bridgeport Police Department
300 Congress Street
Bridgeport, Connecticut 06604

His email address is:

The mayor's snail mail address is:
Mayor Joseph P. Ganim
Office of the Mayor
City of Bridgeport
Margaret E. Morton Government Center
999 Broad Street
Bridgeport, Connecticut 06604

His email address is:

The president of the city council's snail mail address is:
Thomas C. McCarthy
135 Harlem Avenue
Bridgeport, Connecticut 06606

His email address is:

April 2016

City of Shelton

As many of you are now aware, the Freedom from Religion Foundation is suing the City of Shelton. For years, the city has allowed the American Legion to put up a religious display on city propery. Shelton Atheist Jerry Bloom objected, and requested to put up an Atheist display next to it, similar to what I had done about ten years ago in Vernon. Unlike Vernon, however, Shelton refused his request. Hence the suit.

It turns out there's another, similar, issue in Shelton as well. There's a sign reading, "God bless Shelton Police" on public property. Mr. Bloom also contacted the mayor about this violation and was also told that they would do nothing about it.

I have written to the mayor, Mark A Lauretti, about this as a first step. I encourage you to do the same, especially if you live in Shelton. If you do I recommend you mention your support for the FFRF action as well. His snail mail address is:

Mark A. Lauretti
City Hall, Room 202
54 Hill Street
Shelton, Connecticut 06484

Here's the FFRF item on their suit.

Here's an interview Bloom did for a local podcast.

Here's a photo of the police sign.

April 2015

Governor Malloy

Earlier this year the Connecticut Coalition of Reason (of which I am a board member) sent a letter to Governor Malloy requesting that he issue a National Day of Reason proclamation. He refused, even though, as usual, he issued a National Day of Prayer proclamation. Proclamations such as this cost the state nothing and commit the state to nothing; they are merely a recognition from the governor of the value to the state of a certain group of citizens, a recognition Governor Malloy is willing to extend to evangelical Christians but not to Atheists.

The Coalition is organizing a campaign to contact the governor and let him know that we noticed this favoritism to Christians and its implications. I urge you to join us.

You can call the governor at: (860) 566-4840 or (800) 406-1527

You can "email" him at:| (I couldn't find a real email address.)

You can snail mail him at:
Dannel Malloy
Office of the Governor
State Capitol
210 Capitol Avenue
Hartford, Conn. 06106

Note that his first name is spelled "Dannel", not "Daniel".

January 2014

Storrs (UConn)

Ernest Jones, an assistant football coach at UConn, recently said, "we're going to make sure [players] understand that Jesus Christ should be in the center of our huddle" when discussing coaching philosophy. However, very soon afterward, in fact before I heard about the original statement, UConn president Susan Herbst came down hard on him, issuing a statement saying, "... it should go without saying that our employees cannot appear to endorse or advocate for a particular religion or spiritual philosophy as part of their work at the university, or in their interactions with our students. ... Our athletic director and [Head] Coach Diaco agree wholeheartedly with me, and have made this clear to their staff." She should be applauded for quickly doing the right thing. Now I would have preferred her to say "for religion" rather than "for a particular religion", but in general she should be applauded for quickly doing the right thing.

I wrote President Herbst a letter supporting her action while noting that "for religion" would have been preferable to "for a particular religion." She later wrote back, saying, "Your point is well taken. Be assured that the University of Connecticut, as a public institution, will continue to defend the rights of all, regardless of relgious belief or not."

I urge any of you who are, like me, alumni (or better yet, current faculty, staff, or students) to also write President Herbst. Or even if you're not. Even though this issue has been resolved in our favor President Herbst is certain to get a lot of criticism for her action, and she should know that there are many of us in the state who support it.

President Herbst's address is:
Susan Herbst
Office of the President
University of Connecticut
352 Mansfield Road
Storrs, Conn. 06269

May 2013


Thursday the Second of May is the National Day of Prayer. Most activities involve people wasting their time on town greens and such as private groups, but in the city of Middletown there was a prayer ceremony in town hall attended by the mayor.

We protested last year.. We protested again this year..

June 2012


Governor Malloy and other members of the Conn. state government recently held a tribute to Rebbe Schneerson, the Jewish religious group Chabad's late leader (whom many regard as the Messiah). This event was held in the state capitol and organized by Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman. See here for a report on it.

May 2012


Thursday the Third of May is the National Day of Prayer. Most activities involve people wasting their time on town greens and such as private groups, but in the city of Middletown there will be a prayer ceremony in town hall attended by the mayor. This event is advertized on the town web site.

We protested..

January 2012


Sorry I haven't been updating this page as often as I should.

The Somers Congregational Church burned down on New Year's Day. Since then they have held services in Somers Town Hall. I have written to Somers first selectman Lisa Pellegrini pointing out that this is an inappropriate response. I urge others to write her as well, especially if you live in Somers. If you do so, however, it's important not to sound like you're gloating over the church's loss. Point out that mixing church and state remains a bad and unconstitutional idea even when you might have some sympathy for the church.

Here is the first selectman's address:
Lisa Pellegrini, First Selectman
Town of Somers
P.O. 308
Somers, Connecticut 06071

March 2010

Haddam and Killingworth

A Creationist has been elected to the school board for Haddam and Killingworth.

On the one hand, the school district is not changing its policy. On the other, the high school principal seemed much more sympathetic to Creationism than he should be.

If any of you live in Haddam or Killingworth I strongly urge you to write to the rest of the school board about this. I would recommend you start by crediting them with having a science friendly current policy, but impress upon them the seriousness of the threat. I'm not sure if this Harris guy has any real chance of overturning science, but there's a real chance it could be watered down if the school board only feels political pressure from one side, and it's not from ours.

August 2009


The Workman Memorial A.M.E. Zion Church in Torrington is sponsoring a "Workman Day" on Saturday the 22nd as a recruitment drive. Unfortunately, one of the organizations appearing in support of them is the Torrington Fire Department. I've sent a letter of complaint to the fire chief. I know one member in Torrington has done so as well, and if you're in Torrington (or even if not) I urge you to do so as well. This is a clearer violation of the Separation of Church and State than most incidents where a government agency participates in an event at a church. It's not just a govt. agency appearing at a church; it's a govt. agency supporting a church's drive for new members.

The fire chief's address is:
John Field, Fire Chief
Torrington Fire Department
111 Water Street
Waterbury, Connecticut 06706

September 2008


Our old friend, Mayor Jarjura of Waterbury (the guy whose inauguration included a Catholic mass), has proposed a $40,000 grant to private schools in the city for the purchase of books. This is being done at the request of the Conn. Federation of Catholic School Parents. Apparently, though, there are members of the Board of Ed. who are sceptical of the wisdom of this grant. I've written to the board, and if any of you live in Waterbury I urge you to do the same. The address is:

Patrick J. Hayes, Jr.
President, Waterbury Board of Education
236 Grand Street
Waterbury, Connecticut 06702

May 2008

Entire State

The state Dept. of Public Safety has recently revived the chaplaincy program for the state police. The justification for it essentially assumes that there is no such thing as an Atheist, and therefore a religious program which doesn't favor any specific religion is fair. I've written to the commissioner pointing out the flaw in that argument. If you wish to do the same, the commissioner is:

Commissioner John Danaher III
Department of Public Safety
1111 Country Club Rd.
Middletown, Connecticut 06457

November 2007


A member of American Atheists who was a volunteer with the Northwestern Connecticut Aids Project has brought my attention to the fact that when the NCAP suddenly lost its funding the Waterbury Dept. of Public Health turned to a church, Trinity Episcopal in Torrington, as the agency to host its AIDS services. This action is somewhat mitigated by the fact that they were under the gun and apparently had to scramble to find a replacement for NCAP, but, nonetheless, for a church to act as an agent of a government agency is a clear violation of the principal of the separation of church and state. I wrote to the Waterbury director of public health reminding him of that and urging him to rectify the situation as soon as possible. I urge those of you who are residents of Waterbury (or Torrington) to do the same.

The director's address is:
William Campbell, Director of Public Health
95 Scovill Street
Waterbury, Connecticut 06706

December 2006


I was recently contacted by a woman whose daughter goes to RHAM, a regional high school in Hebron, about use of the school by two religious groups. In one case, the group is using the auditorium to present a musical under guidelines which pertain to any community group, so I don't think there's much we can do. In the other case, however, a religious group is meeting after school in the cafeteria at a time when students such as her daughter have to pass through the cafeteria on their way to the gym if they participate in sports. I wrote a letter to the superintendent of the school district, pointing out, "This sends entirely the wrong message to the student body. It implies that the school approves of the religion. In any case, every person, including a student, has a constitutional right to determine for his or herself to what extent he or she has to deal with religious messages. This activity should, at a minimum, be moved to a location where only those who seek it out have to be exposed to it.".

If any of you live in any of the towns served by RHAM, I urge you to write as well, even if you have no family members in the student body. The superintendent's address is:

Robert Siminski, Superintendent
Regional School District No. 8
23 Liberty Drive, P.O. Box 1438
Hebron, Connecticut 06248

December 2006


Vernon, where I live, had erected a nativity scene last year but when I objected promised not to erect it any more. I checked this year, and it was, as promised, not there. However, I heard from a reporter that they are considering changing their mind again and putting it back next year. I'll definitely keep on top of this one.

December 2006


In Bristol, a group got permission to put up a nativity scene in front of Town Hall temporarily for no other purpose that I can see other than to thumb their noses at the constitution. I wrote to the city council and got in response a noncommittal promise to keep my views in consideration. I'll try to keep on top of this next year. If they do it again and I find out about it early enough maybe we can stage a demonstration.

December 2006


Waterbury has a creche on the town green. I complained, and the mayor wrote back saying that it's legal because it's surrounded by secular symbols. I wrote to point out that it's still wrong even if the Supreme Court allows it. I don't expect any action, though; this is the mayor who attended a Catholic mass as part of his official inaugural ceremonies.

December 2006

Jewett City (Griswold)

More news on the Jewett City Baptist Church bells issue:

The Borough of Jewett City held a meeting on this issue on Monday the 11th. I wasn't be able to make it; I had to work. Not that I was invited or informed of it by the borough; I heard about it from a reporter. I later heard from a reporter, who called to get my reaction, that the Borough essentially (but apparently not officially) decided to stick with the status quo. I still have not received any response directly from the borough or the town.

I also learned some more about the history of this sound system. Apparently it was originally purchased for installation in the Giswold Town Hall, but after they bought it they found out that for technical reasons they couldn't put it where they'd intended, so they asked the church to host in their steeple.

American Atheists is now exploring the possibility of legal action.

November 2006

Jewett City (Griswold)

A few months ago Bill Russell, an American Atheist who lives in Norwich (and the president of Norwich Atheists) asked me to look into what could be done with the excessive level of noise put out by the J.C. Baptist Church, which blasts music and bell tones throughout the day. I've never heard them myself, but Bill is a regular visitor to J.C., and I've heard from another member that the noise is excessive. In any event, we wanted to make sure that the church not get any special treatement, and be treated just like any other establishment which might broadcast music.

I made some inquiries, and put Bill in touch with a state police officer, the state police apparently having juristiction over J.C. The police's answer to Bill, however, was a big surprise. It turns out that the sound system making this noise, although located in the church tower, is owned and operated by the Borough of Jewett City. This suddenly became a more serious issue. I wrote a letter to the selectmen of the Town of Griswold, which the Borough of Jewett City is part of, pointing out that the arrangement is unconstitutional, asking them to divest themselves of the sound system, and asking that it be turned down, in any case.

July 2006


Earlier this year the Watertown Parks and Rec Commission had reversed a long-standing policy and started issuing permits (mostly for sports teams) on Sunday morning. This month, under pressure from the local churches, they reversed their decision and reinstated the ban on Sunday permits. I had been about to write them a letter congratulating them on acting on behalf of all the people, but instead had to write them a letter chastizing them for acting on behalf of the churches. If any of you want to add your voices, the chairman of the commission is

Ronald Russo
Watertown Parks & Recreation Dept.
51 Depot Street, Suite 108
Watertown, Conn. 06795

I especially urge you to write if any of you are residents of Watertown.

April 2005


The Cape Verdean communtity in Norwich, or at least part of it, is raising funds to reassemble a Catholic chapel in town, which was dismantled when the owners of the property it was on decided they didn't want it there. Unfortunately, the City of Norwich has offered to allow them to erect in on city property, in Mohegan Park. Even though the city claims it is doing so only for its historical value, I've written the mayor to remind him that placing a Catholic chapel, even a nonworking one, in a city park will be seen as an endorsement of Catholicism by the city, and therefore is a violation of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, the Seventh Article of the Connecticut constitution, and simple fairness to the nonbelieving citizens of Norwich.

The mayor's address is:
Mayor Arthur L. Lathrop
Norwich City Hall
100 Broadway, 3rd Floor
Norwich, Connecticut 06360

April 2005


The First Congregational Church of Litchfield has recently secured a $200,000 federal grant to help with the upkeep of its church. Senator Joe Lieberman helped them secure this grant. I have written to the senator and to the Courant about this. I urge you to write to Lieberman, and to your local papers, as well. If any of you live in Litchfield you might also write to First Selectman Leo Paul, who apparently supports the grant. We're not going to get Lieberman to apologize for this, but if he gets enough complaints he might think twice before doing anything this blatant in the future.

March 2005

New Haven

I've recently received a reply from Mayor John DeStefano to my letter concerning New Haven's car towing policy. Mayor DeStefano claimed that the city's policy was misrepresented in the press, and that they try to avoid towing any cars whose owners are probably away from home. As an activist I know that the press does not always get things right, but several reports when the issue first arose quoted city officials as specifically avoiding churches. If this was a press misrepresentation, it was a far more extensive one than is usual. This is not just getting some details wrong. What I suspect happened is that the city got so much flack over the policy -- There were several critical letters printed in the Register, for instance -- that they decided to back down while pretending that the new nondiscriminatory version was their intention all along. In any event, the favoritism towards church-goers has apparently stopped, showing that raising your voice does, occasionally, do some good.

March 2005

New Haven

The City of New Haven has instituted a new policy of towing away cars which are owned by tax scofflaws. They are doing this to cars parked on the city streets and in parking lots. Unfortunately, they have decided to modify this policy to make it blatantly discriminatory. The city has announced that cars parked in front of churches on Sunday, and only those cars, will be exempt from the law. I have written to the mayor and several other city officials about this. I know at least one member has written to the New Haven Register. I urge all of you to also write and complain about this discriminatory policy, especially if you live in New Haven.

The Register has an article online about this, and it published another which is not online but which quotes Police Chief Ortiz and Tax Collector Cuticello as announcing a policy under which "the city will establish perimeters around churches as no-tow zones and perhaps ask churches to give out placards that parishioners can put in their cars".

A list of New Haven officials' mail addresses can be found at

update above

February 2005


The Town of Haddam's official website has links on its welcoming page to a handful of local organizations, including three Congregational churches. I've written to the selectmen pointing out the unconstitutionality of such promotion. If any of you are residents of Haddam I urge you to write as well.

December 2004


Update to previous item:

Milford did not display a nativity scene in the Parson's Complex government building this year, at least partly because of our complaints. They did allow one to be displayed on the green, though. We protested this time. Here is the official statement which I handed out at the protest:

Statement for the Demonstration Against the Creche on the Milford Green

Over 200 years ago our founding fathers met, not only to establish a new nation, but to establish a new kind of nation. They were very familiar with the age-old struggle between Reason and Religion, and were resolute in their determination that the former would prevail in America. They wrote a godless blueprint for our nation, the Constitution, followed immediately by an amendment guaranteeing the absolute separation between church and state. But the Constitution is not some magical spell. Just fixing the words on paper did not insure that they would be honored. That took the hard work and dedication of many people throughout the years, from Robert Ingersoll in the 19th Century, to Madalyn Murray O'Hair in the 20th Century, to us, here, in the 21st.

For years Milford displayed a creche in the Parson's Complex government building and another on the green. We, and others, complained last year about the Parson's Complex creche. This year it is gone. This year we complained about the creche on the green, and, lo and behold, a plaque was erected disclaiming town responsibility. Every time we remind the city of Milford what nation it is a member of, it acts a little more like it's part of that nation. If we keep this up it may decide someday that America is not such a bad idea after all and sever all ties between church and state.

To the mayor and the rest of the city government of Milford I say this, "You started off with a clear and unambiguous endorsement of Christianity, and you have since muddied that message, but you have not abandoned it. You should be commended for taking steps in the right direction, but as long as city property is a showcase for religious messages, you have not yet arrived. Do the right thing. This is not Milford, Iran. This is not Milford, Saudi Arabia. This is Milford, Connecticut, U.S.A. It's time to stand up for the vision of a free and secular America that our founding fathers, and those who have carried on their cause, worked so hard to build."

November 2004

Entire State

The organization Scouting for All has compiled a list of BSA (Boy Scouts of America) boy scout troops and cub scout packs which are sponsored by a governmental organization (mostly schools). As most of you probably know, BSA has a religious test for membership, refusing admittance to Atheists, and ejecting Atheists it discovers in its ranks. Sponsorship by a government organization of an organization which practices religious discrimination is a violation of both the U.S. and Connecticut constitutions (1st Admendment and 7th Article respectively). Scouting for All's page of government sponsors in Connecticut can be found at I will be writing letters to all of these. I urge each of you to write to any which are in your town (or others, if you can).

July 2004


We have another case of a city council invoking God, this time in Hartford. Actually, I'm sure this happens in a lot of towns, I just find out about the ones which get mentioned in the press.

There's an article about it in the Hartford Advocate.

The Hartford City Council's contact information can be found online.

June 2004


The Town of Vernon has been giving aid and recognition to a religious organization in the form of providing the Crossroads Community Church with the use of Vernon Center Middle School. To allow a church to conduct meetings on school grounds violates the principle of government neutrality on religious matters by giving religion the town's implicit approval. The fact that financial considerations prompted the town to withdraw use of its school shows that the town's previous support for religion was not only symbolic, but monetary, making the violation of the first amendment guarantee of freedom from religion indisputable.

Mayor Marmer is now attempting to revive this unconstitutional practice. I wrote to the mayor and the town council members urging them to keep church and state separate, writing both as state director and as a citizen of Vernon.

The mayor and council's contact information can be found online.

May 2004


We have another case where a town council member has objected to the practice of opening meetings with a prayer, this time in Enfield. The council member is Brian H. Peruta. A Hartford Courant article on the issue is online. A list of council members' addresses is also online.

April 2004


The Mansfield Town Council is concidering opening meetings with the Pledge of Allegiance. They are apparently undecided not only whether to do so, but which version they should use if they do. I wrote them an email urging that they use the old, inclusive (i.e. without "under God") version of the Pledge. Their email addresses can be found online. (The final address, for Carolyn Redding, is appears to be wrong; I think it should be at "" like most of the others.)

An article about this can also be found online.

BTW, Storrs, where UConn's main campus is, is part of Mansfield.

April 2004


I have discovered that the City of Berlin has been subsidizing a religious school in town, St. Paul's, to the tune of $50,000 a year. Usually the issues I deal with involve towns trying to expand the limits of what is permissible in circumventing the separation of church and state. Berlin seems to have decided to just ignore those limits, and act as if the First Amendment to the Constitution was never ratified.

The mayor of Berlin is:

Adam P. Salina
Berlin Town Hall
240 Kensington Road
Berlin, Conn. 06037

The president of the Board of Ed. is:

Gary R. Brochu
98 Thompson Road
Berlin, Conn. 06037

April 2004

State Dept. of Transportation

The state of Connecticut apparently maintains signs along Interstate 84 near exits 39 and 40 directing motorists to The Holy Family Passionist Retreat Center, a religious institution. While the state does at places maintain signs for organizations not affiliated with the state, those are usually for schools or for heavily trafficked public areas such as malls. I would have no objection to a sign for a religious university, given that similar signs are put up for private non-religious universities, but I can think of no other case where the state has put up a sign for the benefit of a resort.

I wrote to the Department of Transportation with the following questions: What are the Department of Transportation's policies concerning placement of signs, and how does the Passionist Center qualify when similar secular sites apparently do not?

April 2004

Deep River

The Board of Selectmen in the Town of Deep River overruled the town's tax assessor and granted a property tax exemption to the First Congregational Church for some land it owns which would not normally be exempted from the tax. The tax laws of the State of Connecticut already give religious institutions an unfair advantage. It should not be the role of a town's executive officeholders to increase unfair advantages some members of their community might enjoy. If anything, they should be looking for ways to mitigate them.

The Board of Selectmen consists of Richard H. Smith (First Selectman), Amy A. S. Craig, and Richard R. Daniels Jr. They may be contacted at

Deep River Town Hall
174 Main Street
Deep River, Conn. 06417

The email for the town government is

February 2004

Old Saybrook

The Old Saybrook Youth and Family Services Commission has distributed $400 of a grant it's received from the federal Drug Free Communtiy Support Program to the First Congregational Church of Christ Kid's Camp Day. Although this is not a lot of money, it is a direct subsidy of a religious program with taxpayer money, and should be opposed.

The director's address is:

Larry Freundlich, Director
Old Saybrook Youth and Family Services Commission
322 Main Street
Old Saybrook, Conn. 06475

February 2004


The first selectman of Stonington has urged all town committees to begin with a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance. I wrote to him suggesting that if they do this they use the old, inclusive (i.e. without "under God") version of the Pledge.

His address is:

Peter Dibble, First Selectman
Town of Stonington
152 Elm Street
P.O. Box 352
Stonington, Conn. 06378

February 2004

Old Saybrook

The Old Saybrook Youth and Family Services Commission has distributed $400 of a grant it's received from the federal Drug Free Communtiy Support Program to the First Congregational Church of Christ Kid's Camp Day. Although this is not a lot of money, it is a direct subsidy of a religious program with taxpayer money, and should be opposed.

The director's address is:

Larry Freundlich, Director
Old Saybrook Youth and Family Services Commission
322 Main Street
Old Saybrook, Conn. 06475

December 2003


A Christian nativity scene is being displayed in the lobby of a government building (the Parsons Government Complex) in Milford. They apparently didn't even try to comply with the Supreme Court's lax requirements for putting this sort of display on government property.

A government building should be for all of the citizens of a community, believer and nonbeliever alike. Fairness dictates that it should not contain the endorsement a given theological position, such as Christianity, and the Constitution of the United States dictates that it must not contain such endorsement. Christmas (which I prefer to call Yule) is this country's primary secular holiday, and can be celebrated without resorting to Christian imagery. The City of Milford should do just that.

The mayor of Milford, James L. Richetelli Jr., was quoted in the Connecticut Post as saying he hadn't received any complaints. I know several people have rectified that omission, and I urge you to do the same. His email is:

His snail mail is:

James Richetelli Jr.
Mayor, City of Milford
City Hall, 110 River St.
Milford, Connecticut 06460

update above

December 2003

New Haven

The New Haven Register has reported that the New Haven Board of Aldermen is considering a rule by which the naming of specific deities will be prohibited during the Divine Guidance portion of board meetings. This proposed rule completely misses the point. The problem with Divine Guidance is not its specific content but its very existence. An individual alderman being guided by his or her sense of the divine is unfortunate, but unavoidable. An organized Divine Guidance officially recognized by the board is a snub of the thousands of Atheists living in the City of New Haven. This practice puts the Board firmly on record as supporting the existence of divinity, making it an unAmerican, and probably unconstitutional, endorsement of religion.

The email and snail mail addresses of the New Haven aldermen are all online.

December 2003


Update to previous item:

The Meriden Libary has voted to overturn the librarian's decision to disallow pictures of Jesus in an art exhibit at the library. No one in Meriden has responded to my inquiries. If any of you live in Meriden, or the Meriden area could you please email me what you know about this issue? I would like to know, if possible, when the art exhibit in question is going to be held, so I can go look at it myself.

December 2003


Update to previous item:

The New Haven Register published an article about my criticism of the Shelton Board of Education's discriminatory dress code.

December 2003


The Meriden Library rejected several pictures submitted for an art display because they were pictures of Jesus. I'm still trying to find out the details of this case. It appears that the librarian was trying to avoid giving the impression that the town of Meriden endorses Christianity. To the extent that that's true we endorse her action. I'm still investigating this, though. One odd aspect of this situation is that apparently a picture of Moses was accepted for the same exhibit. I'm not sure why. I've written the librarian. If any one knows more about this please contact me.

update above

October 2003

Entire State

Governor Rowland has established, by executive order, a Faith-Based Council, whose job it will be to increase the number of faith-based initiatives in the state. A "faith-based initiative" is simply the farming out of government work to religious organizations. Not only does this give religion the seal of government approval, but it diverts taxpayer money to organizations which are permitted to discriminate in their hiring practices against Atheists, as well as against members of other religions.

I recommend that all Atheists in Connecticut write to your newspapers, representatives, and the governor in protest of this move to bring our state one step closer to a theocracy.

October 2003


The post office at 1009 Main Street in Manchester is operated by Sincerely Yours, Inc., a division of the Full Gospel Interdenominational Church, under contract with the United States Postal Service. The church uses the post office to disseminate religious propaganda. As an example, a display by the table used for filling out forms includes the message, "Sharing God's Love - Sending His Hope - Bringing His Salvation". A Manchester Jew, Bert Cooper, has filed suit against the postal service, with the help of the Connecticut Civil Liberties Union, asking for an injunction against doing business with Sincerely Yours, Inc.

This is as blatant a violation of the separation of church and state as I've seen in the state of Connecticut. The postal service should be ashamed of itself for not ending this relationship the moment it was brought to their attention.

The Postmaster General of the United States can be contacted at:

John E. Potter, Postmaster General
United States Postal Service
475 L'Enfant Plaza, SW
Washington, DC 20260

The address for the main post office for Manchester is:

Manchester Main Office
111 Sheldon Rd
Manchester, Conn. 06040

September 2003


The Clinton Board of Selectmen has proposed an ordinance which restricts the use of alcohol by minors in their home. They are considering adding a clause which makes an exception when the drinking is "part of a religious observance". This is simply unfair. If the restrictions are justified when the reason is secular, then it is justified when the purpose is religious. If consumption for religious purposes is deemed acceptable, then to deem it unacceptable for secular purposes elevates religion to a privileged position.

First Selectman of Clinton can be contacted at:

James McCusker Jr., First Selectman
Town Hall
54 East Main Street
Clinton, Conn. 06413

September 2003


The Shelton Board of Education has approved a dress code which, among other things, disallows head coverings, except when worn "as part of a student's religious practice or beliefs". This is simply unfair. If the ban is justified when the purpose of the clothing is secular, then it is justified when the purpose is religious. If wearing head coverings for religious purposes is deemed acceptable, then to deem it unacceptable for secular purposes elevates religion to a privileged position.

The chairman of the Shelton Board of Education can be contacted at:

Raymond M. O'Leary
61 East Village Road
Shelton, Conn. 06484

update above

August 2003


The Chairman of the Hartford Board of Education, Reverend Wayne Carter, has come under criticism for endorsing a march against the Episcopal Church's election of a homosexual bishop. While that is not per se a violation of Church/State separation, because his endorsement was as a private citizen, it led to the revelation that in June he declared that he bases his policies as chairman, at least with respect to homosexuality, on his interpretation of the "word of God".

Reverend Carter can be contacted at:

Hartford Board of Education
Hartford Public Schools
960 Main Street, 8th Floor
Hartford, Conn. 06103

August 2003

New Haven

There was an article in the Register in July that the New Haven Police were using a Department of Justice faith-based grant to recruit local clergy as their representatives in the community. If anyone knows more about this please contact me.

The Register article can be found here.

The New Haven police chief can be contacted at:

Francisco Ortiz, Jr. Chief of Police
New Haven Department of Police Services
One Union Avenue
New Haven, Conn. 06519