County Governments Turn Back on First Responders Based on Phantom Threats of Litigation

Bible

Despite no public complaints against either display, two nearby southern Virginia counties have ordered the removal of Scripture in the last six months, dishonoring the first responders they were meant to support.

The Charlotte County School Board and Superintendent Nancy Leonard ordered the removal of a Bible verse commemorating the life of an 18-year-old high school graduate. A memorial bench with the inscription, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13" was placed in front of Randolph-Henry High School to honor Colton “Cotton” Osborne. Osborne—a volunteer firefighter and varsity baseball player—was killed in an ATV accident in 2016, and the bench was placed with permission of the school.

Upon the advice of their attorney, the Charlotte County School Board reversed course and required the verse (or the bench) be replaced or removed. Superintendent Leonard admitted there was no complaint. Their ban on Scripture was triggered by the new policies the board drafted to be “compliant” with the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.

Similarly, in mid-May, the Montgomery County Board of Supervisors ordered Sheriff C. H. Partin to remove decals with “Blessed are the peacemakers . . . Matthew 5:9” from patrol cars. The order was a response to an inquiry from the Warren Buffet-owned media company The Roanoke Times.

Sheriff Partin received the order in the middle of National Police Week and responded by issuing a statement of compliance and a desire to focus on the men and women who have “paid the ultimate sacrifice” and those “selflessly” protecting their communities.

Supervisor Chris Tuck admitted that the move was for financial purposes, to protect the county from potentially having to pay legal fees to the ACLU or others, despite there being no actual complaint.

The National Center for Life and Liberty points out the hypocrisy of leftist groups like the “Freedom” From Religion Foundation (FFRF) who claim to “protect” the public from the First Amendment right to free exercise of faith in our Creator.

The doctrine of forced atheism on our public institutions from the Left is both blatantly unconstitutional and an abomination against our Creator, Who endowed us with our inalienable rights. When you partner with the NCLL, your prayer support, financial support, and public exercise of First Amendment rights help protect our lives and our freedom.