NASHVILLE (WDEF) – The national group “Freedom From Religion” is objecting to a planned church service as part of the inauguration for Bill Lee this weekend.
The Foundation has sent a letter to the Governor-elect’s transition team saying at least one member in Tennessee has complained.
The prayer service for Bill Lee features Christian music performers like Michael W. Smith and Steven Curtis Chapman.
The Inaugural Worship Service was moved from the Ryman Auditorium to the Grand Ole Opry because of the growing demand.
And no state money is being used.. it is all paid for by donors.
Still the Foundation says the service violates the separation of church and state.
“This defiance of the U.S. Constitution is a disappointing way to start your time as governor of Tennessee,” writes Staff Attorney Ryan Jayne.
“Including religion in an inauguration event is both unnecessary and inherently divisive,” says Co-President Dan Barker.
“It gives the message to non-Christians that they are political outsiders in their own communities.”
The letter also requests public documents on the inauguration planning.
The Lee team has not responded to the letter so far.
Lee is not the first Governor to include a prayer service in his inauguration.
In fact, Governor Haslam did it in both of his.
Read the full letter below: