Freedom From Religion atheists sue Wisconsin attorney general over chaplaincy program

(WISCONSIN STATE JOURNAL) Madison-based Freedom From Religion Foundation filed a lawsuit Tuesday challenging the establishment last month of the state Department of Justice’s Chaplaincy Program, arguing that it is an unconstitutional violation of the separation between church and state and that it excludes atheists and non-believers from participating.

According to the lawsuit, filed in Dane County Circuit Court, the program was announced on Oct. 18 and was described by Attorney General Brad Schimel as a “critical component” of the DOJ. The program was developed and is now directed by a DOJ staff member.

DOJ has said that the program is part of a wider push at the agency to improve the physical and mental wellness of law enforcement officers.

The lawsuit seeks to have the program discontinued. The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Josann Reynolds.

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