N.C. sheriff’s office complies with FFRF (June 24, 2017)

FFRF recently sent a letter to the Ashe County Sheriff’s Office, based in Jefferson, objecting to a “Time of Prayer” event it was scheduled to host on June 24. Highlighting the event was a prayer led by Anne Graham Lotz, the daughter of the celebrity evangelist Billy Graham and sister of Franklin Graham.

FFRF expressed concern that Ashe County officers, and perhaps Sheriff Terry Buchanan, would make an appearance at the event in their official uniforms and might speak using government titles to promote the religious event. This, FFRF reminded the sheriff’s office, would have exacerbated the appearance that the sheriff’s office endorses Christianity. The Ashe County Sheriff’s Office promptly addressed this concern.

“No uniformed officer or deputy will be speaking or participating in the event,” wrote an attorney representing the Ashe County Sheriff’s Office. “Mr. Buchanan may give a brief introduction of Ms. Lotz, but it would be without introduction of himself and without use of a title or uniform. The only presence of any uniformed officer would be consistent with their normal routine of patrol and other law enforcement duties.”

Freedom From Religion Foundation