The Freedom From Religion Foundation, a leading separation-of-church-and-state watchdog, is not pleased that Sheriff Grady Judd of Polk County, Florida gave a church sermon in his police uniform.
But it’s not the fact that he gave a church sermon, it’s the fact that he gave a church sermon in his sheriff’s uniform, the Washington Times reported.
The FFRF says that Sheriff Judd is in violation of the First Amendment because he sends non-Christians “a message of exclusion” by preaching in his official government uniform.
Sheriff Judd said he found the claims “humorous and entertaining.” He went on to say that if he is asked to speak in front of a group of people, he will most definitely be doing so in uniform.
The sermon which attracted the attention of the FFRF was entitled “Wouldn’t the World be a Better Place if Everyone Behaved Like a Christian.” Sheriff talked about his conversion of several inmates to Christianity as well as the “faith-based dorms” he set up in Polk County jail, the Christian Post reported.
Florida Sheriff will continue to preach in uniform. http://t.co/Lf17muSXHj
— Chris Mundy (@mundyspeaks) June 25, 2015
The FFRF said that they do not take issue with Sheriff Polk delivering sermons or, for example, teaching Sunday school. But they are certain that he should not do so in his official government-issued Sheriff uniform because this amounts to an endorsement of his personal religion by his office.
Not only a proponent of the separation of church and state; the FFRF is also a national supporter of atheist and abortion rights. They will file a law suit if Sheriff Judd continues to preach in uniform.
This is likely because Sheriff Judd has already pledged to deliver a Father’s Day sermon… proudly wearing all the stars, bars, patches and badges deserved by somebody of his rank.