Atheists Call Out Kentucky Sheriff’s Religious Promotion

Atheists Call Out Kentucky Sheriff’s Religious Promotion November 27, 2019

From the American Humanist Association:

Following blatant promotion of Christian nationalism by the sheriff of Ohio County, KY, attorneys at the American Humanist Association are warning the publicly-funded office of future legal ramifications.

On November 24, 2019, the office’s public Facebook page posted an explicitly Christian prayer, reading in full:

“Gracious Father in heaven, we humbly bow before you. May your everlasting mercy be upon our officers and first responders May they each find you as an ever present help in times of trouble. Guard and strengthen them as they serve the community. This we pray in Jesus name.. Amen”

As AHA’s Senior Counsel and Legal Director Monica Miller noted in the warning letter, a social media post that is so obviously religious in nature “is inconsistent both with the purposes of the Establishment Clause and with the Establishment Clause itself.”

Miller recommended that the department “publicly apologize for the post, disclaim prior endorsement of prayer, and assure citizens that it won’t happen again” in order to avoid potential lawsuits.


The American Humanist Association (AHA) works to protect the rights of humanists, atheists, and other nontheistic Americans. The AHA advances the ethical and life-affirming worldview of humanism, which—without beliefs in gods or other supernatural forces—encourages individuals to live informed and meaningful lives that aspire to the greater good of humanity.

Special thanks to the Louis J. Appignani Foundation and the Herb Block Foundation for their support of the Appignani Humanist Legal Center.

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