Anti-religion organizations like the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) are devoted to the cause of preventing anyone in the public arena from talking in any kind of religious terms whatsoever. The FFRF’s co-presidents have dedicated their lives to blaspheming God and the Bible through published books and “protecting” of the Constitution, despite their gross misinterpretation of it.
Sheriff Nick Smith of the Walker County Sheriff’s Office was contacted on Nov. 26 by the FFRF who wanted to inform Sheriff Smith that “a citizen had expressed concern that Smith’s office ‘has a pattern of calling on citizens to pray during times of tragedy,’” according to Christian News.
“We write to encourage your office to use more inclusive language when posting on social media,” the letter read, as seen on a Facebook post.
Specifically, FFRF pointed to two recent posts: One lamented the tragic shooting death of fellow Sheriff “Big John” Williams and commented, “Our prayers are with the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office family as they deal with this senseless tragedy.” Another was an official statement regarding a 14-year-old boy who was accidentally hit by a sheriff’s deputy as the teen was riding his four wheeler.
“It’s at this very trying time that we, as a county, should fall to our knees and pray fervently for mercy and peace,” Smith urged in a statement after the latter incident. “Now is not the time to place blame. Not on the deputy, not on the young boy, and most definitely not on his parents.”
“Instead of wasting our breath condemning and judging, we all need to use it to cry out for God to place His hand on this young boy, and return him home to his family [and] to bring peace and calm to a deputy who is absolutely broken,” he went on to say.
“As your sheriff, I’m responsible for speaking for my department, and all I ask is that you pray. Pray hard, and pray from the deepest parts of your heart, because there are two good people that need it now more than ever.”
Wow!! It’s so heartening to hear such powerful words of faith from someone in a position of authority.
Of course, not everyone was a fan.
The FFRF countered, “A senseless and tragic death is not an excuse to disregard the Constitution, which prohibits government entities like the sheriff’s office from promoting religious activities.”
Disregard the Constitution?
The Constitution prohibits Congress from making any laws with respect to any one particular religion and it also denies Congress the right to make laws prohibiting people from exercising their religious liberties. The Constitution also prohibits any religious tests for any federal officeholders, which basically means it would not be allowed for someone who is going to hold a federal office to have to undergo any kind of religious test in order to assume their position.
The FFRF has misinterpreted the Constitution grievously, claiming instead that all forms of religious expression are unconstitutional. This is a common fallacy. In fact, the Constitution protects religious expression and liberty, which is the whole basis of America, from individuals, Sheriffs, and anyone else who wishes to proclaim their faith before men
“By couching its posts in specific religious terminology, the Walker County Sheriff’s Office is excluding a significant portion of the community,” FFRF also asserted. “[B]y calling on a God to intervene, the sheriff’s office is sending a message to nonreligious citizens that they are outsiders within their own community and that their participation in the healing process is not valued.”
FFRF did, however, graciously grant Smith permission “to personally turn to religion in trying times, but he ‘cannot encourage others to do the same.’” How kind.
FFRF is an organized group of bullies trying to control public conversation who ironically call themselves “free-thinkers.”
“Observing a strict separation of Church and State excludes no one and honors the First Amendment,” the organization contended. “It is not the government’s job to promote religion over non-religion.”
Although Smith has every right to express his faith, he is also is hardly promoting any particular religion by calling people to prayer. Most all major religions of the world utilize prayer. He also isn’t promoting religion over non-religion. Those who do not wish to pray or who do not subscribe to religious beliefs are free to simply ignore his comments. Was he demanding people pray at the tip of a gun? No. Is the FFRF ultimately demanding he be punished for calling others to prayer at the tip of a gun? Yes.
Who is truly advocating for something that violates the First Amendment here?
It’s refreshing to see, however, that Smith has support within his department. T.J. Armstrong, the community relations officer with the Walker County Sheriff’s Office, posted to his personal Facebook page to give Smith praise for not backing down to these atheist bullies.
“We consider it a great honor to be considered and to have received a wonderful letter from the ‘Freedom From Religion’ organization. Proud to have a sheriff that won’t bow to political pressure or the devices of the enemy!” he posted.
“As our Chief Deputy Anthony Leach quoted from Matthew 16: ‘Jesus turned and said to Peter, ‘Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns,’” He boldly declared. Amen!
Armstrong also told local television station CBS 42 that he did not view his call to prayer as his department promoting a singular religion.
“I believe that when we ask people to pray, people see our hearts and they see that compassion and they respond to that,” he stated.
It is a common misconception that America was founded as some kind of atheistic haven but the truth and historical facts show that America was in fact founded in reverence to the Holy God of the Bible. Our right to religious liberty should never be infringed upon by groups of radical, atheist bullies.
Good for Sheriff Nick Smith for refusing to bend to the will of the FFRF and his department for supporting him on his stance.
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