Commonwealth Policy Center

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee is under fire for living out his Christian faith as governor. Lee recently declared a statewide day of prayer and fasting because he believes God answers prayers. Lee said he prays that Tennessee will overcome the drug epidemic, doesn’t experience a school shooting, and that educational outcomes improve. But not everyone is pleased with Lee’s proclamation. The Freedom From Religion Foundation says Lee is blurring Constitutional lines between religion and government and said the “governor may, as a private citizen, attend any religious functions, prayer breakfasts or churches of his choice, but….as governor, he may not bless such events or allow his office to be used for a purely religious event such as a coordinated Christian prayer and fasting event.” A closer reading of the First Amendment says the federal government may not establish a religion or prohibit the free exercise. And something FFRF misses is that free exercise doesn’t stop once you become governor.