A North Carolina sheriff rejects calls from an atheist organization to remove a Bible verse from the wall of a sheriff’s office, saying in a new social media post: “We need more Jesus.”
This is a Bible verse prominently displayed on an office wall of the Columbus County (NC) Sheriff’s Office. The verse Philippians 4:13, which says, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,” is posted on the wall in black letters. The Freedom From Religion Foundation, in a Dec. 6 letter to Sheriff Jody Greene, asked him to remove the verse, arguing that it violates the U.S. Constitution.
“The Establishment Clause prohibits government sponsorship of religious messages,” the letter said. “The Supreme Court has repeatedly said that the ‘First Amendment mandates government neutrality between religion and religion, and between religion and non-religion’.”
The Bible verse, the group claimed, “alienates” citizens of the country who are not religious. The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) defines itself as an organization “of atheists, agnostics and skeptics of all pedigrees”.
In a Dec. 21 Facebook post, Greene said he would not remove the verse, which he said helped encourage and inspire members of law enforcement.
“This verse is one of my favorite Bible verses, and it felt fitting for all the adversity I had to endure,” Greene wrote. “It’s very motivating for me and my staff. Here at the Sheriff’s Office, we work hard in everything we do. Before executing a search warrant, or any service that puts our people in immediate danger, we ALWAYS go to the Lord with a group prayer. ALWAYS!”
Referring to overdoses, drugs and violence in the country, Greene added, “We need more Jesus and less politics.”
“I would like to thank people for all the phone calls and messages of support,” Greene wrote. “Five of our county commissioners and our House of Representatives, Brendon Jones, also called with their support. … I will not give up my position and my Christian beliefs.”
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Photo credit: ©Getty Images/Daniilantiq
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and current affairs for 20 years. His stories have appeared in the Baptist Press, Christianity today, The Christian Post, the Sheet-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.