By: Charlotte Smith
Last week I met with the Bladen County Sheriff, Jim McVicker, and was vexed by a letter he shared with me. Addressed to Sheriff McVicker was a letter from Madeline Ziegler, a staff attorney, writing on behalf of the Freedom from Religion Foundation out of Madison, WI, urging Sheriff McVicker, Bladen County’s highest ranking, duly elected law enforcement official, to remove “In God We Trust” from Bladen County Sheriff’s vehicles.
What caught me by surprise was Ziegler’s claim to be representing Bladen County residents and taxpayers. The letter stated, “On behalf of Bladen County residents and taxpayers, we ask that you refrain from promoting religion in your official capacity as Sheriff, and we urge you to remove “In God We Trust” from all Bladen County Sheriff’s vehicles.”
Nowhere in the letter did Ziegler state exactly which residents and taxpayers in Bladen County she and her foundation were representing. Out of over 326 million American citizens, the non-profit only has 29,000 members, according to the letter. Their membership is less than one percent of the whole population in our country. Not one Bladen County citizen was named as being a member of the deranged institute.
The harassing letter sited some statistics from questionable sites, such as 23% of Americans identify as non-religious, according to PEW RESEARCH Center on May 12th, 2015. However, according to a Gallup Poll on June 29th, 2016, at gallup.com, 89% of Americans say they believe in God. Therefore, folks may be non-religious, but the large majority still believe in God.
Sheriff McVicker did reply back to the ill-equipped letter with many legal references stating the letter’s assertion fails as a matter of law due to several reasons. McVicker also questioned the authority of the organization.
The Freedom from Religion Foundation currently has 13 ongoing frivolous lawsuits sited on ffdf.org. Instead of using their resources for American’s freedom; they are trying to force the beliefs of less than one percent of the population on to the whole nation by using unethical tactics.
I encourage Bladen County citizens to voice your opinion of these antics by writing the Freedom from Religion Foundation and Mrs. Ziegler at P.O. Box 750, Madison, WI 53701 or call (608) 256-8900 with your comments.
I would also encourage our readers to contact Sheriff McVicker with gratitude for standing up for our freedom. We, as citizens, may have different belief systems, but the very small minority should not be able to take our freedom with trifling and absurd accusations.