YMCA and the establishment clause

Sent in by SailorFraud

This is in reference to the YMCA evicting the atheist youth group, Camp Quest, posted in March 2007. I sent a letter to Americans United for Separation of Church and State (AU) and got a response that they will respond when they have the time.

AU recently sent me an email with detailed questions. The letter is posted below. Can you please answer their questions, or direct me to someone who can answer them, or perhaps post it on your site so the audience can answer them?


Thank you for contacting Americans United. I apologize that it has taken a while to get back to you. As you might imagine, our office has been extremely busy.

Because the YMCA is not a public entity, its actions probably do not constitute an Establishment Clause violation.

Do you know if the YMCA is receiving public funds to maintain these camp grounds? Do you know if the YMCA owns this land or if it rents it from the city?

I look forward to your response.

To monitor comments posted to this topic, use .


sailerfraud said...


I am the author of this post. Americans United recently sent me an email asking specific questions on the YMCA eviction of Camp Quest case, and have offered to take legal action if necessary. However, they need to have the questions answered, and I am not familiar with the case.

If anyone can answer the questions, please post a comment here or email to me: sailerfraud@yahoo.com

I will then forward the information to AU and they can best determine the best course of action.

Bill (aka Sailerfraud)

Anonymous said...

Wow. This is one of the first times I've seen atheists/agnostics truely discriminated against. Best of luck to you and your cause.

Anonymous said...

To determine the ownership of the property consult the county registrar's office: you want the tax and deed records. If they own the property it will be so recorded in the records: both tax and deed. Any lawyer can help you with this, especially a real-estate lawyer. Also the local rep (stringer?) for a title insurance company could help: these people run down ownership all the time: it is their occupation. They also locate liens and such, which might be helpful

Anonymous said...

Only government entities must obey the First Amendment. This is what lawyers call the "State Action Doctrine." The First Amendment only applies to government actors (state and federal governments and their subsidiaries, including local governments). So these provisions only apply to people like the governor, attorney general, or some other state actor.

You can’t sue the Ford Motor Company, for example, for violating the First Amendment. There are provisions of statutory law that apply to the private sector, but in order to prevail on a First Amendment claim, you must be suing the government.

The YMCA is not the government.

sailerfraud said...

I'll try to contact Camp Quest and introduce them to Americans United. If this is a vaild issue, the two of them can work it out.

In the meantime, what are your opinions? I think YMCA receives too much federal funding and tax breaks to be non-partial.

Anonymous said...

The Federal Gov't has a responsibility to oversee its expenditures, since it takes taxpayer dollars and reallocates them. It has a responsibility to ensure that money obligated and committed to agencies do not conflict with U.S. Federal Law.

Executive Order 12549

Should the YMCA be approached? Sure.

Federal taxes must support programs that benefit all legally abiding U.S. citizens. If that isn't the case, then the Federal Gov't is financing discriminatory agencies, and it can't do that, since they are mandated to "follow" the Federal Constitution, Executive Orders, Public Orders, etc.

The problem one may run into, is that the Fed spends more money than it can regulate or have direct oversight on, the crook conveyor belt is running much faster than the federal court's ability to oversee and prosecute, IMHO.

J. C. Samuelson said...

I think YMCA receives too much federal funding and tax breaks to be non-partial.

Sailor, I agree with you. Unfortunately, the YMCA may very well be covered under the Faith-Based and Community Initiatives program. I don't know that they are, but if so, attempts to reverse the situation may not be successful. The FFRF just lost their Supreme Court case challenging the program on the basis that taxpayers lack standing to challenge an Executive order.

In any case, the YMCA has received Federal funds for some time, so it may not have anything to do with FBCI and be completely legal due to some other statute or leglislation. But if not, and a challenge is successful, it would certainly hit them where it hurts - their bank account.

Pageviews this week: