"This is an overt act of hostility against minority religious beliefs and atheists, disguised as religious freedom," said David Silverman, President of American Atheists. "This is not religious freedom; it's open and proud bigotry, and the people of Mississippi should be ashamed of their legislature and governor."

American Atheists’ founder Madalyn Murray O’Hair started her fight for the separation of church and state with a lawsuit about the issue of prayer in public schools. She started American Atheists soon after in 1963. It remains American Atheists’ position that students, faculty, and staff should not be forced to listen to prayer.