Florida’s governor has been criticized for hanging a mezuzah outside his office in Tallahassee.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Florida said it could turn the state building into a shrine for other religious icons, the Palm Beach Post reported Friday, and is the equivalent of the government endorsing a religious symbol.
“The problem is that if he says yes to this religious symbol, he’s not going to be able to say no to any other religious symbol,” Howard Simon, executive director of the Florida ACLU, told the Post. “While it may look like a lovely gesture, it’s very short-sighted.”
Gov. Charlie Crist, a Methodist who has visited Israel this year, received the mezuzah as a gift from Jewish state Rep. Adam Hasner. The governor told the Post he understands the separation of church and state.
“But you have a freedom of religion, not a freedom from religion,” said Crist, who told the Post he has no intention of removing the mezuzah. “All I’m doing is attempting to be respectful and grateful.”