I’m sure it will come as a shock to you all that a sheriff in North Carolina doesn’t understand the Establishment Clause, but it’s true. Onslow County Sheriff Ed Brown took out an ad in the local paper saying, in part, “Our society in in a big mess today because good, decent and respectful citizens have ignored the Truth of God, good common sense, and a decent standard because of an opinion given by someone with a doctrinal degree who has no wisdom…. Remember, there are no loop holes or places for opinion in the Law of God, The Ten Commandments.”
The Freedom From Religion Foundation has sent a letter pointing out the unconstitutional nature of the ad. Brown says it’s all okay because he paid for the ad himself:
Brown told The Daily News on Wednesday that he paid for the ad and dozens of others like it in the past 21 years out of his own pocket.
“It’s my money,” he said. “I earned it, and I’ll spend it however I like.”
And he’s right, he has every right to pay for such an ad himself. But he can’t put the official seal of his office on it because he is acting as the government in that office.