By Jean-Christophe BENOIST (Own work) [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

By Jean-Christophe BENOIST (Own work) [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Is the city’s ticket giveaway an endorsement of Pope Francis and Catholicism? Freedom From Religion Foundation says yes.

On September 25, the Pope will be visiting New York City. The city organized a ticket giveaway to attend the event and winners were drawn on September 10.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation sent a letter to the mayor of New York City, Bill de Blasio, criticizing the ticket giveaway contest organized by the city for the forthcoming Pope Francis procession in Central Park.

The FFRF is of the opinion that the lottery event seems like a way for New York City to support the religious ideas of Pope Francis. This was the opinion of Annie Laurie Gaylor, Co-President of the FFRF, as expressed in a letter sent to de Blasio. According to Gaylor, the practice is a breach of the well-laid out constitutional principle which states that it is the duty of the government to stay neutral on the subject of religion.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation, based in Madison, Wisconsin, has embraced and supported the concerns of agnostics, atheists, and skeptics for 37 years. They have been resisting laws that declare religious observance days as state holidays. In a lot of ways, the work of this foundation has been triumphant.

The foundation has an expansive reach and claims to have over 1,000 members in New York. It has recently brought up an issue with the administration of de Blasio regarding its fondness for the existing pope. In particular, there is an objection posed by the group about the 80,000 tickets gifted via a lottery to the residents of New York who are hoping to view the procession of Pope Francis in the famous Central Park. This would be among the many appearances that the pope will be making during his New York City visit in the coming week.

In conclusion, the letter stated that NYC needs to put an end to the lottery immediately and it also requested de Blasio to respond. The Freedom From Religion Foundation serves as a church/state monitoring organization and has over 20,000 nonreligious members. These also include more than twelve hundred members from New York City.

The FFRF also posed criticism against corrections authorities in Philadelphia for allowing inmates to work on a chair for the Pope’s visit. FFRF is also against the federal government’s decision to allow the pope to address Congress during his visit to Washington, D.C.

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