Anti-Christian group demands Birmingham (AL) Police stop praying before their shifts

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BIRMINGHAM, AL - Police officers often tend to be pretty religious. The reasons for that vary, but much of it may be attributed to the fact that police realize that when they go out on patrol, it could very well be the last time they do so. The fact that they seek God’s protection while acknowledging that the decision is in God’s hands shouldn’t matter to anyone except that officer.

Unfortunately, that isn’t the case for busybodies such as the Freedom From Religion Foundation. reports that the anti-Christian organization, based in Madison, Wisconsin, released a statement last week alleging that “multiple” concerned Birmingham residents, including a department employee, informed the anti-Christian busybody organization that a pastor is regularly invited to the department to “proselytize, read bible passages, and lead devotionals and prayers during mandatory staff roll calls.” 

The group further complains that when the Baptist pastor isn’t there, a police officer leads a prayer for all employees in attendance. 

“The complainant reported feeling uncomfortable being required to participate in religious worship as part of their job,” the organization said. “The department has bragged about this department-sponsored religious coercion on official social media pages.” 

The police department deferred comment to the city’s mayor’s office, however, no comment was immediately offered. 

On April 17, 2024, the department wrote a post on X that read:

We’re starting Wednesday with Roll Call at West Precinct. Each day our officers come together to receive their assignments for duty and to pray for a safe shift before they go out and serve Birmingham. Our officers enjoy this time with one another.

Except for one snowflake, apparently. 

Freedom From Religion is demanding the department refrain from including religious activities, such as worship, Bible readings, devotionals, or prayer, at future staff meetings “in order to respect the First Amendment rights of all Department employees,” wrote FFRF Staff Attorney Chris Line in a letter to Birmingham Police Chief Scott Thurmond. 

The First Amendment’s discussion of religion is often twisted into a pretzel, with leftists claiming there is an explicit requirement to “separate church and state.” That is incorrect. The reading of the First Amendment’s reference to religion says:

“Congress [shall] make no law respecting establishment of religion or prohibiting its free exercise.” [emphasis added] Period. 

The term “separation of church and state” has been attributed to a letter written by Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury Baptist Association. In response to concerns expressed by that group about their status as a religious minority, Jefferson wrote that the First Amendment’s free exercise and establishment clauses together “built a wall of separation between church and state.” 

Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black, in the case of Everson v. Board of Education (1947), took it a step further, writing:

The First Amendment has erected a wall between church and state,” which “must be kept high and impregnable.” 

As with Roe v. Wade, “separation of church and state” appears nowhere in the Constitution, nor does the term “abortion.” Yet leftists have embraced both as settled by the Constitution, which they are (were) not. 

FFR claims that it is acceptable for department employees to pray privately or worship on their own time, however, such cannot be imposed on all employees,” they wrote. 

“This coercive practice excludes and alienates those employees who are among the nearly 30 percent of adult Americans who are religiously unaffiliated, as well as the additional 6 percent of Americans adhering to non-Christan faiths,” the statement continued. “In order to respect the First Amendment, the department must immediately end this unconstitutional practice.” 

“An open profession of Christianity or any religion from an entity sworn to serve and protect is unconstitutional and divisive,’ said FFRF co-president Annie Laurie Gaylor. “The Birmingham Police Department serves all of the town residents, not just Christians.” 

FFRF has stuck its nose into several areas, including the Oak Grove High School, where they alleged religious coercion on the football team. 

The religious motto “God, Team, Me” is posted inside the team's locker room and on official team shirts. FFRF wrote a letter of complaint to the high school. 

In Mobile, the group took credit earlier in 2024 for removing a biblical verse painted on the side of a dugout. In 2023, the group slammed Auburn University for an event where head football coach Hugh Freeze and other prominent university figures were baptizing students.

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tell them they are welcome to join in,, or,, just leave us alone


tell them they are welcome to join in,, or,, just leave us alone


tell them they are welcome to join in,, or,, just leave us alone


tell them they are welcome to join in,, or,, just leave us alone


Freedom From Religion Foundation is an onerous group. Your post has it correct in that they are "busybodies" who "twist ... into a pretzel" what the Constitution says. Many of the Founding Fathers were Christians and the Supreme Court has ruled that this IS a Christian country (never overturned either!) While I recognize that we have lost our Christian moorings (not doubt in part due to groups like FFR), we certainly are not a better society for moving away from a general acceptance of the Biblical basis for our society. Funny how FFR never seems to show up against any other religious practice (i.e., kids being forced in school to take part in Muslim expressions of worship as "instructional understanding"), only Christian. Seems indicative of a bias there.


I actually wanted to read all the details on this one, because the headline made it sound as though these idiots were just whining because other officers were praying. If that was the case, it's much like the football coach holding a team prayer on the field after the game. If you don't wanna participate, then just don't. Simple enough. But to be objective, that's not what this is. If they're bringing pastors in to do prayers during a mandatory roll call, then yeah... they're forcing people who aren't religious to sit through religious ceremonies. Imagine being a Christian, or a secular officer in Deerborn, MI where half the city is Muslim... and the police chief calls a Muslim IMAM in from a local mosque to lead a muslim prayer every day. Would you be pissed? I would. There's a VERY simple solution here. Have your mandatory roll call, do police business, then tell the officers roll call is over, but those who wish to remain can join us in prayer. End of story. Nothing in the constitution bans religion in the public arena. It just says the State can't force a religion on anyone. But if they're making officers who aren't Christian sit through that, then that is in fact the State forcing a religion on those who don't want it. Just sayin'.




Talk about anti American communists. Demanding religious freedoms be taken away from this that put their lives at risk everyday. They need a month in Russia and north korea


Talk about anti American communists. Demanding religious freedoms be taken away from this that put their lives at risk everyday. They need a month in Russia and north korea


No one is forced to attend. That’s all what matters. They have a right to pray

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