Popular rap artist and born again Christian Kanye West recently held a surprise worship service in a county jail a week ago to share the hope of the gospel with those who are oh so desperate for the hope it provides.
However, this gesture of good will did not seem to go over well with atheist group Freedom From Religion Foundation. The group sent a letter to Sheriff Ed Gonzalez on Monday stating that a “church service” like the one West held in the jail should never happen again and that it violated the Constitution.
Here’s more from TheBlaze:
“It is our understanding that Harris County Sheriff officials organized two concerts for inmates and staff on Friday, November 15,” the letter recalls. “Kanye West and his choir performed songs from West’s recent religious album, ‘Jesus Is King,’ and the performances were ‘really more like a church service,’ a sentiment you explicitly and publicly admitted. Photos suggest this is true, too.”
The “photos” in reference show one tweet by Sheriff Gonzalez saying, “[Kanye West] and his choir brought some light and #churchservice to people who needed it today at the Harris County Jail,” and another recalling West’s words to inmates that “this is a mission, not a show.”Trending:
“In short, this was unconstitutional,” the atheist group’s letter said, arguing that the inmates didn’t really have a choice — “nobody believes there is a genuine choice between sitting in a cramped, locked cell, and listening to a two-hour long concert.”
“This constitutional violation is particularly egregious because it imposed religion on inmates — literally a captive audience — who have a deep and immediate interest in being seen favorably by [Sheriff Gonzalez] and [his] staff.”
“It is no excuse that Kayne West is famous,” the letter reads.
Jason Spencer, a spokesman for the Harris County Sheriff’s Office tweeted out, “Say what you want about the man. But [Kanye West] and his choir brought some light to people who needed it today at the Harris County Jail.”
— Jason Spencer (@JSpencer_PR) November 15, 2019
The audience consisted of 200 male inmates, and then a second performance was held for the female inmates. How powerful was the experience? Several inmates got down on their knees to pray and many of the folks on West’s team were in tears.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott even tweeted out his support for Kanye, stating he wished other artists would follow his lead.