W.V. ACLU Says County Shouldn't Fund Jesus Fest

CLARKSBURG, W.V. (AP) - A civil liberties group says the Harrison County Commission's support of an annual Christian festival in Clarksburg is unconstitutional.

Media outlets report that the American Civil Liberties Union of West Virginia has asked the commission to stop providing funding and its endorsement for Jesus Fest.

In a Dec. 22 letter to the commission, state ACLU executive director Franklin Crabtree says the First Amendment's Establishment Clause prohibits government sponsorship, financial support and active involvement in religious activity.

Crabtree's letter says the commission has provided $2,000 for the festival each year for the past five years.

The letter has been submitted to county prosecutor Joe Shaffer for an opinion.

Commissioner Mike Romano tells The Exponent Telegram that if there's validity to the ACLU's claims, the commission needs to take appropriate action.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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