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Nov 29 2011

North Carolina Sheriff Doesn’t Get First Amendment

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.

17 comments

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  1. 1
    beezlebubby

    I hope he walks to church then! Otherwise he’s violated Sabbath rules and should be stoned to death for his outrageous act. Internal combustion is still combustion. No loopholes!

  2. 2
    Aliasalpha

    What would happen without the official seal but identifying his position, same thing or would that be considered distinct enough to not imply official support?

    And for a nerd rebuttal to his closing statement: Man has a saying: “The pen is mightier than the sword” but believers have a truth “the almighty god is greater than both the pen and the sword”. Dungeon masters have a truism “Yeah but I’m the one telling the gods what to do”

  3. 3
    Trebuchet

    It’s a politcal campaign ad, I’d guess. Intended to circumvent campaign financing laws. Again, just a guess, but it keeps his name in the public eye.

  4. 4
    duck1887

    What’s a “doctrinal degree”? (He means “doctoral degree,” right?)

  5. 5
    Michael Heath

    Sheriff Ed Brown:

    Our society in in a big mess today because good, decent and respectful citizens have ignored the Truth of God . . .

    Who is this Truth fellow and how do I meet him?

  6. 6
    amenhotepstein

    Remember, there are no loop holes or places for opinion in the Law of God, The Ten Commandments.

    I take it the sheriff is opposed to the death penalty, then?

  7. 7
    Phillip IV

    good, decent and respectful citizens have ignored the Truth of God

    Well, how would you be good, decent and respectful without ignoring it?

  8. 8
    Michael Heath

    How many rhetorical and logical fallacies do we observe? Dozens? I counted seventeen in my first pass realizing that the identification of some of these fallacies properly analyzed will most likely reveal more fallacies, e.g., society is a in a mess because we’ve ignored the, “Truth [sic] of God”.

  9. 9
    d cwilson

    Our society in in a big mess today because good, decent and respectful citizens have ignored the Truth of God

    I think it’s time we ask these theocrats one simple question: If you truly hate the state our society is in and think we’re overrun with godless heathens, then why are you still here? Go join up with those libertarian millionaires who want to build their own island nation in the Pacific and leave the rest of us alone.

  10. 10
    DaveL

    there are no loop holes or places for opinion in the Law of God, The Ten Commandments

    I take it this person has never met a rabbi.

  11. 11
    eric

    aliasalpha @2: What would happen without the official seal but identifying his position [?]

    Just personally, the big bold “From Sherriff Brown” at the top bothers me as much as the icon of the shield. By starting his letter this way he is clearly trying to put the weight of his office behind his message (at least, it seems that way to me).

    Now, I would be okay with this as an alternative: “From Joe Brown” at the top – as big and bold as he wants to pay for – and at the bottom, below the message, in regular sized text, something like this: Joe Brown currently holds the office of Sheriff in Onslow County. That lets the reader know who he is without making it sound like he’s speaking ‘officially.’

  12. 12
    Pierce R. Butler

    Wait till Aunt Bea gives him a good talking-to!

  13. 13
    The Lorax

    Looking at the REAMS of pages we could fill up with biblical loopholes, let me pull one out at random:

    “Thou shalt not kill”
    … unless God tells you to, or you think God has told you to, or you think God would want you to, or you can’t adequately define human life or human death.

  14. 14
    democommie

    Well, now that we have another KKKrazzeepants Sheriff in MurKKKa will they have to have a throwdown? I think Joe Arpaio’s prolly got more firepower (including his little tank) but Ed’s got GOD on is side. While the pope may not have any divisions GOD’s got his son, 900′ BABY JESUS with the frikkin’ laserbeam eys!!

  15. 15
    kermit.

    beezlebubby I hope he walks to church then! Otherwise he’s violated Sabbath rules and should be stoned to death for his outrageous act. Internal combustion is still combustion. No loopholes!

    Worse than that. If he’s like most American Christians, he goes to church on Sundays, but the Sabbath is sundown Friday to sundown Saturday. “Remember the Sabbath, to keep it holy”, indeed.

  16. 16
    John Hinkle

    …and a decent standard because of an opinion given by someone with a doctrinal degree who has no wisdom….

    Ouch. There’s that disdain for education again. Maybe what we have here is a failure to communicate.

  17. 17
    dan4

    @14: “While the pope may not have any divisions GOD’ got his son, 900′ BABY JESUS with the frikkin’ lasbeam eys!!”

    Huh? Can someone interpret this sentence for me? I don’t speak “drunkese.”

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