When Louisiana lawman Julian Whittington announced plans for a Fourth of July prayer rally, many locals expressed a desire to attend the faith-based patriotic event. Activists from the American Civil Liberties Union, however, wanted to shut it down, alleging such a gathering is unconstitutional.
The Bossier Parish sheriff said this week that he has no intention of giving into the demands, noting that his constituency is overwhelmingly supportive of the principles embraced by the ‘In God We Trust’ rally.
“Not only am I elected to serve the people of Bossier Parish,” he told the Shreveport Times; “but I live here and my family lives here. I think Bossier Parish is a better place with Christianity and Christian values involved in it.”
His loyalty, he maintained, is to the people he serves and his community – not Washington, D.C. bureaucrats.
“What they, what they say,” he asserted, “I couldn’t really care less.”
Nonetheless, the ACLU is determined to make its opinion known.
“If the event is held on sheriff’s property,” the Louisiana chapter’s executive director stated, “then by definition it is a public event that sends a message of government endorsement of Christianity.”
Whittington has plenty of local support for the event, though, including one high-profile Republican who attended last year’s inaugural rally: Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal.
Don Gasper, like many locals, is enthusiastic about the rally and Whittington’s efforts overall.
“I’m behind him,” he said. “Too many of our Christian values are being thrown aside for this politically correct environment.”
The sheriff asserted that it is not the intention of organizers to proselytize, insisting that the event is only offered as a way to give interested locals an opportunity to embrace America’s founding principles.
“We’re not trying to push or convert,” Whittington said. “We’re not trying to round them up and force them into anything. There are no consequences if you don’t; that’s not it at all.”
He concluded the “idea that a small meeting in Bossier City somehow needs federal approval is ridiculous.”
Photo Credit: Facebook/Julian Whittington Campaign
This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom