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American Civil Liberties Union Tries to Stop 'Jesus Fest' Funding

An American Civil Liberties Union is putting pressure on officials from Harrison County, W.V., to end their financial support of "Jesus Fest."

A letter was sent by ACLU demanding the funding be halted of the annual event, The Blaze reported. The union is heavily against the support because they feel the funds are against the U.S. Constitution's Establishment Clause.

The clause mandates "governmental neutrality between religion and religion, and between religion and nonreligion," the ACLU said in its letter. "In order for a government action to comply with the Establishment Clause, the action must have a secular purpose ..."

Ron Watson, county commissioner, told WBOY it was not taxpayers' money being used but instead leftover proceeds from the lottery. "It comes from what I call devil's money which is gambling money from video lottery and table games that the county has received," he said.

B.K. Vanhorn, the event organizer of Jesus Fest, is just asking that the festival be treated like any other festival that would happen, without bias or prejudice.

He told the Charleston Daily Mail, "The bottom line is you don't have to be Italian to enjoy the Italian Heritage Festival and you don't have to be black to enjoy the Black Heritage Festival. And you don't have to be a Christian to come to Jesus Fest."

Jesus Fest's major goal is to "reach into our families by providing an environment where Christians can unite in fun, food and fellowship, listen to Christian music, hear the exciting news of our Lord and enjoy themselves in the love of Jesus," according to their website.

The site also said the event is "a family oriented festival with a focus on creating unity in the Body of Christ, which is accomplished through an interdenominational approach utilizing ecumenical leadership and the involvement of local area churches."

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