Atheist group asks sheriff’s office to halt ‘religious promotion” on social media

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Walker County Sheriff’s

The Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF) continues its war against Christianity and Christians who dare to voice their faith in public life, this time targeting a sheriff’s office in Alabama that offered prayers for a slain sheriff in another county.

On Nov. 26 the FFRF sent a letter to the Walker County Sheriff’s Office expressing concerns about “religious promotion” on the department’s Facebook page. Specifically, the group complained about a post on Nov. 23 about the death of Lowndes County Sheriff “Big John” Williams, which stated that the department’s “prayers are with the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office family as they deal with this senseless tragedy.”

The department was also taken to task for a post on Aug. 4 regarding a deputy involved in a collision that killed a boy. ” … We, as a county, should fall to our knees and pray fervently for mercy and peace,” the post read.

Sam Grover, the associate counsel at FFRF who wrote the letter, said the group became aware of the Walker County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page after receiving a complaint from a Walker County citizen.

“Observing a strict separation of church and state excludes no one and honors the First Amendment,” Grover wrote. “Individuals are free to turn to religion or secular forms of compassion in times of tragedy as they see fit. It is not the government’s job to promote religion over nonreligion.”

On Tuesday, Walker County Sheriff’s Office community relations officer T.J. Armstrong shared the letter on Facebook.

“We consider it a great honor to be considered and to have received a wonderful letter from the ‘Freedom From Religion’ organization,” Armstrong wrote. “Proud to have a Sheriff that won’t bow to political pressure or the devices of the enemy!”

In a phone interview with CBS 42 Wednesday, Armstrong said the department would not change the way it did things.

“As far as the department, we don’t push one religion over another , however, the Constitution gives us the freedom to express our religions,” Armstrong said. “These people are just looking for a fight. … I don’t think they’re offended; they’re just looking for a fight.”

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