FFRF has urged South Dakota to rescind permission to print the official state seal on bibles.
Many South Dakota state legislators recently received bibles emblazoned with the seal of the state of South Dakota on the cover. These bibles were apparently produced by Capitol Commission, a North Carolina-based Christian ministry that “is committed to making disciples of Jesus Christ in the capitol communities of the world.” According to Jarvis Wipf, Capitol Commission’s “state minister” for South Dakota, the ministry received permission to use the seal from former South Dakota Secretary of State Shantel Krebs.
It is well-settled law that government offices may not endorse religion, FFRF reminds South Dakota Secretary of State Steve Barnett.
“Giving permission for the state seal to be printed on bible covers sends a clear message that the state of South Dakota endorses the messages in the bible,” writes FFRF Legal Fellow Colin McNamara.
FFRF is requesting that the state revoke permission to use its official seal on any religious texts or iconography. Additionally, FFRF is requesting public records relating to the granting of permission for Capitol Commission to use the state seal on the bible.