MOUNDS, Okla. – The American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma is asking a local police department to stop sharing religious messages on the department’s official social media channels.
On Wednesday, the ACLU asked the Mounds Police Department to stop making religious statements on the department’s Facebook page.
“Both the First Amendment of the United States Constitution and provisions of the Oklahoma Constitution protect against government officials establishing a state religion. The exclusive, pervasive promotion of the Christian faith by the Mounds Police Department represents a clear violation of those legal mandates. By promoting one specific religion on its official Facebook page, the Mounds Police Department has established clear preference for that faith above other faiths and above no religious faith at all. This kind of government interference with our religious freedom is simply not permissible under United States or Oklahoma law,” said Brady Henderson, the ACLU of Oklahoma’s legal director.
“In addition to the clear violation of one of the central tenets of American government, freedom of religion, the actions of the Mounds Police Department call into question whether or not the department can be trusted to adequately protect all those living under its jurisdiction, including members of minority faiths and those of no religious faith at all. By establishing a preference for the Christian faith, the department undermines confidence in their ability to perform their duties in a manner consistent with our understanding of one of our most basic and cherished liberties.”
Chief Antonio Porter, with the Mounds Police Department, told FOX 23 that he isn’t concerned about the ACLU and only wants to give words of encouragement to the public.
“With all the negativity in the world, it is time for people to start coming together with positive words and prayer,” Porter said.