Just last week, rapper Kanye West performed his famous Christian-based Sunday service at two Texas prisons. While photos taken from the event seem to show inmates being engaged and really enjoying the performance, not everyone is happy about West’s decision to perform there. An atheist group called the Freedom From Religion Foundation is speaking out against the rapper, according to Fox News.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation, or FFRF, is a Wisconsin-based organization that works to promote the separation of church and state. It also struggles to educate the public about atheism and agnosticism. They wrote a letter to the sheriff presiding over these jails to complain about West being allowed to perform there.
The group called his Gospel rap performance an “egregious” violation of the U.S. Constitution. They implied that the service was forced upon a group of people that are captive.
“It is no excuse that Kanye West is famous. If anything, this makes the violation worse because the captive audience may be more receptive to his message,” said FFRF attorney Andrew Seidel in the complaint letter.
The FFRF is also asking for public information and assurance that the county “will not organize or promote worship services in the future.”
First Liberty Institute, which fights for the freedom of religion, is fighting backing against the FFRF. Their opinion is that West’s performance was a kind hearted gesture that likely provided solace to many people that spend their days locked up.
“Kanye West visited the Harris County Jail to offer hope and encouragement. The last time I checked, you can do that in this country. If every sheriff in America invited Kanye West to visit their jails, we might have less need for jails,” said Mike Berry, the First Liberty chief of staff.
The First Liberty Institute also slammed the FFRF for their “long and shameful history of bullying our schools and city halls” by their condemnation of religion in public places.
As for the staff at the Harris County Jail, they don’t seem to regret their decision to let West perform.
“Say what you want about the man. But @kanyewest and his choir brought some light to people who needed it today at the Harris County Jail,” said Jason Spencer, the public affairs director for the Harris County Sheriff’s Office.
As The Inquisitr previously reported, West did two separate performances, one for male inmates and one for female inmates. It was a surprise to everyone except the staff.