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'We Are Fulfilling Our Duties as Christians': AL Sheriff Rebuffs Atheist Group's Demand to Stop Citing Prayer on Social Media

12-10-2019
Image credit: Walker County Sheriff's Office/Facebook
Image credit: Walker County Sheriff's Office/Facebook

An Alabama sheriff has refused to comply with an atheist group's request that his office stop posting prayers on social media after a tragedy occurs.

Walker County Sheriff Nick Smith received a letter from the Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF) regarding his use of "religious promotion."

The FFRF letter requested that the sheriff "use more inclusive language when posting on social media" during times of tragedy.

FFRF took issue with Smith after he asked for prayers on social media following the death of Lowndes County Sheriff "Big John" Williams on Nov. 23rd and another social media post regarding a collision between a young boy and a sheriff's deputy when the department called on citizens to "fall to our knees and pray fervently."

The atheist group claims Smith is promoting religious activity, disregarding the Constitution and excluding parts of the community.

Public Information Officer TJ Armstrong told CBN News that "We are fulfilling our duties as Christians. We won't change and haven't done anything that is against the law or the Constitution." 

"The enemy can distract us and go after us head-on," he said. "This will take away from doing our law enforcement job."

Armstrong said the Sheriff's Office is always careful about what they communicate on social media.

"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!"

Also, Armstrong noted Chief Deputy Anthony Leach's devotion to Matthew 16:23: "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."

Armstrong said that the Sheriff's Office has not responded to FFRF and has no plans to do so.

"We are a law enforcement agency. If we retaliate, it would be easy to cross the line," he concluded.

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