May 21, 2022

Bible Verse in North Carolina Sheriff’s Office Violates First Amendment, Watch Group Says :: WRAL.com

— A national watchdog organization is asking a North Carolina sheriff to remove a Bible verse from the walls of his office.

In the hallway of the Columbus County Sheriff’s Office is a big Bible verse that says, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13.”

The Freedom From Religion Foundation says this is a direct violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, which prohibits any government agency from establishing an official religion and prohibits government actions that favor a religion over to another, according to Cornell Law School.

The FFRF says in a statement that the Columbus County Sheriff’s Office “is intended to serve all citizens, whether or not they believe.” According to Pew Research, 65% of Americans call themselves Christians and about 26% are non-religious.

“The Columbus County Sheriff’s Office must serve all citizens equally, whether Christian or non-Christian,” FFRF Co-Chair Annie Laurie Gaylor said in a statement. “An overtly Christian message in a law enforcement division sends a message of exclusion.”

WECT News reports that a spokesperson for Sheriff Jody Greene said “the Bible verse on the wall will not fall.”

An attorney for FFRF told WECT that the organization is considering filing a lawsuit against the sheriff’s office.