76 WI Pastors Stand As much as Anti-Faith Group’s ‘Spurious and Unfounded’ Demand to Shut Down Police Chaplain Program

A bunch of 76 Wisconsin pastors confronted an atheist group to protect a metropolis’s police division chaplaincy program. 

In July, the Freedom of Religion Foundation (FFRF), demanded Mansfield Police Division finish its police chaplaincy program as a result of “authorities and faith don’t combine.”

“Police chaplaincies are unconstitutional. Authorities chaplains could solely exist as an lodging of a public worker’s non secular beliefs when the federal government makes it troublesome or inconceivable to hunt out personal ministries,” wrote Karen M. Heineman of FFRF. “Within the case of police departments, there isn’t any important authorities burden on non secular free train.”

Heineman despatched the letter after the Mansfield News Journal featured a narrative on the appointment of a brand new police chaplain, Pastor Chad Hayes, to the Mansfield Police Division. 

In August, 76 religion leaders defended this system in a letter to the Mansfield mayor, police chief, and metropolis legislation director.

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“Whereas the FFRF likes to think about itself as a authorized authority on the First Modification, one can observe that is typically not the case in a courtroom of legislation with its frivolous lawsuits in opposition to authorities establishments,” they wrote.  

“The FRFF asserts that since Pastor Hayes is a priest, he’s not certified to serve legislation enforcement officers and their households. It seems the FFRF desires a authorities employer to discriminate in opposition to a job applicant/worker within the office by firing him due to his faith, thus violating the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964,” they continued. “We consider this could be unhealthy authorized recommendation.”

Pastor Wealthy Hurles, a police chaplain, and letter-cosigner advised Frontlines Ohio the FFRF is focusing on understaffed police departments and susceptible officers. 

“I, like most of the space chaplains I do know, serve our police departments on a voluntary foundation. The general public scrutiny and calls for positioned upon law enforcement officials with ongoing threats of violence results in extraordinarily excessive ranges of stress each day. Such stress can do greater than have an effect on an officer’s job efficiency; it may well additionally seep into and injury their private life,” he defined. 

“Chaplains are lifelines to supply help and energy to the officers and their households,” Hurles famous. 

In a latest response, Metropolis Legislation Director John Spon stated the town would proceed with this system and disrespect the anti-religious group’s request. 

“It’s our opinion that our [City of Mansfield’s] voluntary use of an out there designated chaplain is lawful and due to this fact it’s our intent to proceed with voluntary use of our designated chaplain,” he wrote. “Nowadays, we see no want to answer Freedom from Faith Basis’s spurious and unfounded allegation.”

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