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County Sheriff Mixes Religion With Government Due to Fear

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Fearful sheriff Jody Greene on left.
Fearful sheriff Jody Greene on left.
(Image by Columbus County Sheriff Office)
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The Sheriff of Columbus County, North Carolina, Jody Greene (pictured above), had a quote from the Christian Bible painted on a hallway wall in the sheriff's office, which is a government building. Greene paid with his own money to have it painted, not government money. However, the "revealed" religious quote is on the wall of a government building. The verse is Philippians 4:13 which states, "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." (If that's true, I wonder why a Christian has not ended the Coronavirus pandemic.) The Freedom From Religion Foundation wants Greene to remove the Christian Bible quote. Greene said he will not remove it, based on his fear of going to Hell. He posted, "I'm not afraid of much, but I am afraid of burning in Hell."

Greene's fear of burning in Hell is Christ like, and exactly what the anonymous authors of the Gospel of Luke and the Gospel of Matthew say that Jesus said. Luke 12:5 has Jesus teaching:

"But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him."

Matthew 10:28 has Jesus saying:

"And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell."

These two quotes from the Christian Bible contradict what is in the Christian Bible at 1 John 4:18 which teaches:

"There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love."

Due to these self-contradictions and ambiguities, plus many, many other self-contradictions and ambiguities throughout the Christian Bible, we recognize the important truth Thomas Paine made clear when he wrote in a letter to a friend, which is in The Age of Reason, The Complete Edition, "... the Bible decides nothing, because it decides any way, and every way, one chooses to make it."

The fact that the Universe and ourselves are designed in such a way that we do not know if there is or is not an afterlife is a beautiful reality because it allows us to have unconditional love of God, which is impossible in the "revealed" religions*. This is an important fact that is promoted by Deism.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation released a statement saying that the verse from the Christian Bible in the sheriff's office is seen by reasonable people to be an endorsement of religion, in this case, of Christianity. Greene did not contest that observation. He did say, in addition to refusing to take the Christian Bible verse down because he is afraid of burning in Hell, that the verse is motivational and part of a government office atmosphere that encourages prayer. He went on to say:

"Companies spend thousands of dollars on motivational classes, to come up with motivational slogans. My motivation comes from the greatest motivational speaker of all times, Jesus Christ." Anyone who thinks cannot be motivated by an obviously false statement such as Philippians 4:13.

As Deists we need to do all we can to help people who are currently under the influence of a "revealed" religion to stop and think about what their "revealed" religion is actually teaching. For example, Greene's favorite Bible verse which he had painted on the wall, "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me" is obviously a false statement. If it were true, Christians would be able to actually do all things, everything from ending the Coronavirus pandemic, to winning a lottery every week, to anything else you can imagine. This verse, which is Greene's favorite Bible verse, is similar to John 14:12-14 which claims Christians can do all the things the Bible claims Jesus did PLUS "greater works than these", which would include walking on water, healing the sick (including Coronavirus patients) and raising the dead. But these Bible teachings and promises are all false. Anyone who values truth needs to expose these lies.

*From our Deism Glossary - Revealed Religion: An organized system of belief in and worship of God based on the belief that God communicated/communicates with certain individual founders/members of the particular revealed religion. As mentioned above, by believing in any of the revealed religions a believer is not putting their trust in God, but in the person/people making the claim of receiving the divine revelation.

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Bob Johnson is a paralegal and a freelance writer in Florida. He was raised Roman Catholic, but after reading Thomas Paine's The Age of Reason, he became a Deist. In 1993 he founded the World Union of Deists and in 1996 he launched the first web (more...)
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