I want applaud our local law enforcement for visiting with local Christians to build better community relationships this weekend as part of the National Faith & Blue Weekend. (Area Police Agencies to Observe Faith and Blue Weekend, rockdalenewtoncitizen.com, Oct. 4, 2021.) Unfortunately, our officers will be going beyond community outreach and participating in activities that promote a specific religion. This is a violation of their oaths to uphold our Constitution. While this complaint comes too late to stop their participation in the religious elements of this event, I call on our sheriffs to confine their future involvement to constitutionally permitted activities.
The Faith & Blue Weekend will include a “blessing of the K-9 units at the Newton County Sheriff’s’ Office” and a “corporate prayer” on Sunday. The NCSO’s information officer, Caitlin Jett, informs me that on-duty officers will be participating in those events. Such activities by on-duty law enforcement officers constitute an endorsement of religion prohibited by our federal Constitution.
To be clear, I have no objection to the participation of our law enforcement officers (and their dogs) in the religion of their choice. However, I object when our tax monies are used in this participation or the participation is in a manner that suggests our law enforcement agencies prefer one religion over another.
As I said, I absolutely applaud law enforcement presentations for the secular purpose of improving community relations. I call on our sheriffs to acknowledge that they will confine their future participation to permitted activities.