Sheriff Jody Greene of Columbus County, NC has taken a stand for his beliefs, and he’s not backing down against pushback from the Freedom from Religion Foundation. However, Greene’s motivation for the scripture as well as his refusal to remove it stems from his faith in Jesus Christ. Greene asserts that the cost for the wall quote was paid for with private funds and did not come from taxpayers.
Jordan Mendoza of USA Today says:
“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. Philippians 4:13.” – can be seen in numerous photos shared on the Columbus County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page.
However, the Freedom from Religion Foundation, a national nonprofit group that promotes the separation of church and state, is demanding the quote be taken down, saying it promotes exclusion and violates the First Amendment by “government sponsorship of religious messages.”
“The Columbus County Sheriff’s Office must serve all citizens equally, whether Christian or non-Christian,” foundation president Annie Laurie Gaylor said in a statement on Dec. 14. “A blatantly Christian message in a law enforcement division sends a message of exclusion.”
“I was raised in church. I have been in law enforcement for over thirty years. My training taught me to value God, family, and my country,” Greene wrote. “Companies spend thousands of dollars on motivational classes, to come up with motivational slogans. My motivation comes from the greatest motivational speaker of all times, Jesus Christ.