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North Carolina sheriff drops religion from summer camp (March 18, 2022)

A North Carolina sheriff has listened to FFRF and made secular a summer camp that his department operates.

Several county residents had reported to FFRF that the Dare County Sheriff’s Office was planning to hold a “faith-based” camp (as the Sheriff’s Office’s official Facebook page had been declaring it) for children during the summer. The camp, which has been run by the Sheriff’s Office for many years, included religious worship.

FFRF Staff Attorney Chris Line wrote to Dare County Sheriff Doug Doughtie. “By hosting a ‘faith based’ camp that includes religious worship, the Sheriff’s Office creates the appearance that it endorses religion,” Line wrote.

The sheriff took heed of FFRF’s exhortation. “Friendly Atheist” Hemant Mehta writes that Doughtie posted a message on Facebook explaining why his camp would drop the faith aspect: “A statement from one of the people who posted on our Facebook account was ‘There are many in our community who are not Christian or not religious at all and the Sheriff’s Office should be well attuned to that. Why would these children be made to feel “other” at a county camp?’ When I read that statement, I realized that it shouldn’t make any child feel that way.”