Police Chief Gary Jones in Harlem, Ga., has apparently been using the Department of Public Resources Facebook page not only to proselytize but to promote his church and even the corporal punishment of children in the name of Jesus.
FFRF Staff Attorney Andrew Seidel sent a letter on Nov. 21 to David Sward, director of the Harlem Department of Public Safety, about Jones’ egregious conduct.
Jones’ Facebook posts include remarks such as, “No, it is not reasonable to strike a child with a bat or some other object, but you can use a belt and strike their rear-ends. Parents be nosy, check behind your kids and never assume that they will always be truthful. Doing these very things just may save the life of your child. Fathers you are the head of the home and God will hold you accountable.”
In another post, Jones said, “I am certainly not trying to turn this into a so-called religious site. However since my last posting about 30 minutes ago, my wife called and said our 5 year old daughter was eating breakfast this morning and plainly told her mother that she wanted to accept Jesus as her Savior and ask him into her heart. Her mother prayed with her and afterwards she said this means I am going to heaven now.”
Seidel’s letter said if Jones wishes to disseminate such sentiments, he must do so on his own Facebook page. “He cannot use the machinery of the government, or even his own title, to push people to live in accordance with his religion or go to church.”
Jones wasn’t apologetic about advertising the church he attends. “I will continue to post and most of the people in Harlem are of Christian belief and I’ve gotten a lot more support than the people that don’t support it.”
“The solution is simple,” wrote Seidel. “Jones must stop using a government office to promote his personal religion.”
FFRF has about 380 Georgia members.