FFRF takes on sheriff preaching the “Law of God”

The Freedom From Religion Foundation says Sheriff Ed Brown of Onslow County, N.C. must stop using his government office as a pulpit.

Last month, FFRF wrote a letter to Onslow County Commissioners regarding a proselytizing newspaper ad addressed “Sheriff Brown to: All Decent and Respectable Citizens Of a Decent and Respectful Society.” The letter is signed “A caring and serving Sheriff, Ed Brown” and is stamped with the Official Badge and Seal for the Sheriff of Onslow County.

In a follow-up letter to Sheriff Brown, FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor wrote: “You did not place this ad or sign this ‘letter’ as a private citizen; you wrote in your official capacity as Sheriff of Onslow County and with all the force that Office commands … If citizen Ed Brown wants to take out an ad discussing his religious beliefs he is free to do so. On the other hand, Sheriff Ed Brown is constrained by the Establishment Clause.”

The Sheriff’s ad made reference to society being a mess because citizens have “ignored the Truth of God.”

Gaylor said an officer of human law should not be preaching God’s Law. “If you were an officer of god’s law than you would be required to kill your employees that have extramarital affairs instead of firing them (Deuteronomy 22:22).”

FFRF asked for records relating to the Sheriff’s “use of divining rods, dowsing rods, psychics, clairvoyants, astrologers, spirit guides, people who ‘see’ using senses other than sight, Ouija boards, unicorns, or any other investigation device or technique using supernatural means.” In the past Sheriff Brown apparently obliterated evidence at a murder scene while attempting to locate a body with a divining rod. 

The Sheriff’s policy of terminating employees for adultery is also up for question. FFRF would like to ascertain whether the policy is motivated by religion and another unconstitutional entanglement the Sheriff must correct. 

Freedom From Religion Foundation

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