AHA Objects to Christian Seal of TN Sheriff's Office

The American Humanist Association’s Apignini Humanist Legal Center has sent a letter to the officials in a county in Tennessee, where the local sheriff’s department has adopted an official seal that contains a cross and the word ‘Christ’ as one of the things they’re dedicated to.

Today the American Humanist Association’s Appignani Humanist Legal Center sent a letter on behalf of a concerned citizen to Humphreys County officials in Waverly, Tennessee in regards to a seal featuring a Christian cross and the word “Christ” adopted by the Humphreys County Sheriff’s Office.

According to the letter, the seal violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment by promoting religion over non-religion and Christianity in particular. The seal prominently displays the word “Christ” and a Christian cross at its center. An image of the seal can be viewed above.

“The cross is the preeminent symbol of Christianity, and the display of it on an official, law enforcement seal sends the unequivocal message that the government is promoting religion,” said Monica Miller, an attorney with the Appignani Humanist Legal Center. “The seal also sends the message that non-Christians such as atheists and humanists are outsiders, not welcome in their own community,” she added.

“Promotion of Christianity by a sheriff’s office marginalizes individuals of minority religions and with no religion,” said Roy Speckhardt, executive director of the American Humanist Association. “Doing so can coerce non-Christians into conforming to the approved religion of law enforcement.”

Here’s the seal:


Obviously inappropriate and unconstitutional.

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  • http://howlandbolton.com richardelguru

    But… But… it’s only there for the alliteration… I mean you couldn’t have Mo or Buddha or the FSM (peas be upon Him) that would clash with all those ‘C’s.

  • Reginald Selkirk

    Competence didn’t make the list.

  • Reginald Selkirk

    “Doing so can coerce non-Christians into conforming to the approved religion of law enforcement.”

    He says that like it’s a bad thing, but Deputy Goober might think it’s a bonus that he is bringing heathens to Christ.

  • http://Www.metalmischief.com YOB – Ye Olde Blacksmith

    No but see it is strictly ceremonial.




    The seal also sends the message that non-Christians such as atheists and humanists are outsiders, not welcome in their own community

    Exactly. Feature, not a bug.

  • corporal klinger


    One wonders why…

  • Sastra

    It’s at the very top. Maybe it’s just the badge worn by favorite police officer Chris T.

    The cross is a plus sign: stay positive!

    Also, ceremonial deism. And the fact that Christianity isn’t a religion because religion is Man’s way and this is God’s way and the Truth.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=523300770 stuartsmith

    Maybe they could go with “Cleanliness” instead.

  • Pierce R. Butler

    Since “courage” and “compassion” are upside-down, they clearly retain the option of beating up or blowing away anyone who makes them scared or uncomfortable.

  • John Pieret

    Dog lifts leg with expected result.

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    Seems appropriate to me.*


    * “Christ! It’s the Sheriff!”

  • kantalope

    Constitution starts with C. Why not go with that?

  • DonDueed

    More specifically than to the county’s citizens, the inclusion of “Christ” on the seal sends a clear message to any applicants for jobs in that department — whether the position is that of officer or staff member.

  • abb3w

    Spotted with a Google News trawl, a tad more here. Rather than a seal, it sounds like it’s a challenge coin. Wikipedia has a decent entry on those here. However, there’s some fun in reading the Schlock Mercenary webcomic arc; note 2013-03-18 to 3-23, 2013-05-26 and 05-27, 2013-11-17 to 11-19, plus 2014-02-23 for a chaser. (I’d link those, but I’ve already got two links in this.)

    On the other hand — and particularly after looking at the Schlock arc — the details makes the use seem even more dubious (and the display on the Facebook page still direly problematic). About the only good news is that the county could deal with the problem cleanly by throwing the Sheriff under the bus; fat chance of that, though.

  • Crudely Wrott

    I’m certainly not the first to miss the word courtesy.

    Then there is competent as well as considerate, which, while being similar to courtesy isn’t the same because the court of old is conspicuous in its absence.

    I dunno. All of these claims. along with their conspicuous implications of cleanliness and cooperative consideration of cosmic culpability and/or causation, let alone conversation concerning comprehension, leaves one a bit concerned. Are these people all crazy?

  • Crudely Wrott


    . . . let alone the conspicuous lack of conversation . . .

    *grins sheepishly and continues considering conditions, consequences and criticisms*