Due to the efforts of groups such as the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker won't be enjoying a free Christian cruise to Alaska.
Concerned Wisconsinites had contacted the Freedom From Religion Foundation (headquartered in the state) to express concern that Lifeshape, a Christian organization, had offered Walker and his wife a complimentary religious summertime Alaskan cruise.
In announcing his participation, Walker had encouraged others to pay to join him on the voyage, which, he said, would have included "nightly inspirational messages" such as "faith in the public arena" and "faith-driven entrepreneurship."
FFRF was troubled that the cruise was ramming through the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment and was violating the State of Wisconsin Code of Ethics. Co-Presidents Dan Barker and Annie Laurie Gaylor wrote a letter to the governor expressing their concerns. Walker was leveraging his public office in order to promote his personal religion and was making blanket generalizations about the religious beliefs of Wisconsinites and Americans.
FFRF strongly urged Walker to change his mind and stay ashore. Protests by FFRF and like-minded organizations seem to have had an effect.
"Officials confirmed they have canceled the 'inspirational' cruise that Walker and first lady Tonette Walker were planning to lead on Aug. 12-19," reports the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "'We were notified by Lifeshape that it was canceled due to scheduling issues,' said Walker spokesman Tom Evenson."
"'Scheduling issues' is most often an excuse for calling off a controversial venture," says FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor. "We're tickled that our protest played a part in Walker tending to state business, instead of sailing off on a free-of-charge Christian jaunt."
The Freedom From Religion Foundation is a national nonprofit organization based in Wisconsin itself with 27,000 members across the country, including more than 1,400 in Wisconsin. Its purposes are to protect the constitutional principle of separation between state and church, and to represent the views of freethinkers (atheists, agnostics and nonbelievers).