McHenry County Fair Sets Up Faith Ghetto

The management of the McHenry County Fair apparently has a problem with religious-based exhibitors.

The Association has notified a number of exhibitors with a religious bent that they will be removed from their past locations, where the general public walked by, to a separate location.

First it was a tent large enough for eight…or, larger, if more wanted in.

It was called a “faith tent.”

The part of the County Fair contract with location designation.

The part of the County Fair contract with location designation.

When objections were made that the general public would be less likely to enter such a special purpose tent, management told the Christian-sponsored groups that they would be put in the building next to the two commercial buildings.  (It’s the one with the worst air conditioning.)

They would still be segregated and isolated from most of the foot traffic.

And the building has the lease air conditioning.

It’s the one the booths for the County Historical Society and Environmental Defenders have been in previous years.

The Fair’s problem with religious groups first popped up in 2011.

A new exhibitor called “Peter’s Net” set up an attractive booth with the intent of influencing your girls not to get abortions.

Across the aisle was a booth trying to get teenage girls’ email addresses.

To its dismay, teens were more interested in viewing the fetal models than whatever the booth across the way was pitching.

The man who oversees the booths came around and told the women at the Pro-Life booth that the people manning the other booth were aggravated at the Pro-Lifer’s success.

Since then there have been attempts by the Fair Association management to thwart the effectiveness of the three Pro-Life booths.

In 2011, new exhibitor “Peter’s Net” set up an attractive booth with the intent of influencing your girls not to get abortions

Judy Cocks, Exec. with 1st Way Pregnancy Center in Johnsburg, wrote the following:

1st Way is finding ourselves involved in an unfortunate situation with the McHenry County Fair.

1st Way Pregnancy Services President Connie Freund and two young people were at their pro-life booth.

1st Way Life Center exhibit from the County Fair.

When we received our contract this year, the fair committee had moved us to the “faith tent”.

When I called and spoke to a secretary at the fair grounds, I was told that the fair committee just want to make the “fair run more smoothly” and so the moved some exhibitors.

I asked if anyone had ever complained about us and was told no.

I told them that if we were put into the faith tent, we would not participate and that I would write a letter to the NWH.

I told the secretary that if we were segregated, we would basically be preaching the choir and it would not be profitable to us to come to get our message out.

We have participated for the last 13 years consecutively and been in the same location.

Well, since then, the fair committee has tried to walk this decision back, but not completely.

They changed the name of the “faith tent” to the “informational tent” (which only had 8 spaces).

Now, after lasts night’s fair committee meeting, they decided to bring us into building E, which houses the Historical Society.

I called today to ask who would be in that building and was told that

  • Deanery Right to Life
  • the Gideons
  • Peter’s Net
  • 1stWay

The Diaper Bank may be there also, but has not signed up yet.

Here’s the deal, I don’t care what they call us.

If they decide to segregate exhibitors by faith, then they are discriminating on the basis of faith.

I have asked to speak before a committee meeting.

The Thomas Moore Society has contacted me and they are writing a letter to the fair on behalf of Peter’s Net.

I would like to reach out to churches that have participated and see if their fair location has been moved.

This, coupled with SB 1564 is forcing us to not keep operating below the radar, which has basically been our mode of operation in the past.

Here’s an article about the four booths related to abortion at the 2012 County Fair.

In 2014 the ratio of Pro-Life to Pro-Choice booths continued to be 3 to 1.

The same participants were there in 2014.

All competing equally in the public forum.

The McHenry County Citizens for Choice booth is not scheduled to be forced into the religious ghetto.


McHenry County Fair Sets Up Faith Ghetto — 16 Comments

  1. Moving all the religious people to a tent of their own is a bit reminiscent of separate but equal.

  2. The first night of the “Fair” a tornado strikes McHenry County…………..(I pray not but let’s just say)

    Where do you think all the powers that be will be huddled up?

    Who will they be seeking comfort ‘with?’

    Get it?

    Don’t be afraid of God, he won’t hurt you.

    If your to embarrassed by him, well, you know.

  3. Well republicans have a dilemma.

    They used the Evangelists since Eisenhower and they also used big business.

    Well now they chose money over religion.

    I don’t think any of these booths belong at the fair, but now the religious right will have to either not vote for these people (remember this is a solid republican county in elected officials) or start their own party.

  4. I’ve never heard of these types of booths at a County fair in other areas.

    I’m not saying the groups are wrong to believe what they do but………

  5. Karma, let me ‘edu-macate’ you, Darling.

    It’s both parties that use Big Business, but it’s the Democrats who use big business, Hollywood hacks, and exploit illegals, gays, hell whomever they can!

    They piss on the constitution daily and it was the Dems who Boo’ed God.

  6. Truthfully, I don’t care for business/religious/political/sexual (gay pride whatever) etc. booths at fairs but the County Fair has the right to turn it into a an expo if they want.

    They get money for it and attendance is down so they think they’re going to get revenue that way.

    I surely don’t go for any of that, but it’s part of the fair now, so be it.

    It SHOULD be first come first serve, as to whom gets pick of the damn booths.

    It’s clear they are banishing religious booths to the back.


    Lets hope the religious booths don’t participate next year and the Fair gets their message loud and clear.

    At expos they are all mixed.

    That’s how this should be done too.

    The fair has turned into a carnival with an expo attached with a petting zoo.

    Big deal.

  7. Time for a boycott of the rotten fest.

    Funny how Franks got the primo location … oh, that’s right, he’s not a Christian.

  8. —But Jack Franks loves to masquerade as a Christian …. yucking it up at Marion Catholic HS and any Lutheran gig he can walk in on.

  9. If not illegal none the less discriminatory if the McHenry County Citizens for Choice booth is not in the same section.

    What is the basis for the segregation if not discriminatory.

  10. I like how he says he won’t profit if he’s not with the general population.

    Darlin was right.

    Religions are a racket just like everything else.

  11. The actions of the Fair committee are clearly discriminatory.

    Booths that promote abortion will be allowed to mix in with the general traffic booths.

    Booths that do not promote abortion will be segregated into low traffic areas.

    Someone on the committee has decided to politicize the fair for the sake of their own narrow views.

    Should be no place for this at a publically funded and supposedly open event.

    This fair has always welcomed a diversity of exhibitors – local businesses, politicians, charities, local churches, crafts, etc.

    A cross section of the community.

    The right to life booths have been represented for over a decade without issue.

    Now, suddenly, they need to be separated and diminished by…….whom?

    This is unprincipled.

    The pro life booths aren’t demanding that planned parenthood’s booth be shut down or moved.

    Why the double standard?

  12. Old man winter busting out anti-semitism, David Bachman passively praying for natural disasters and Joe claimimh the Christian ‘struggle’ in this country is akin to Jim Crow laws and all on the McHenry County Blog….

    Wow, just, wow.

    What would Jesus say?

    Maybe spend the money from the booth entry for the fair on food to help the poor?

  13. Lol?! Are you for real winter?!

    ‘Funny how Franks got the primo location … oh, that’s right, he’s not a Christian.’

    I’m a shill for calling out your biggotry? How else are you supposed to interpret that other than antisemetic?

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