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AHLC Warns Minnesota Sheriff of Establishment Clause Violation

For Immediate Release


Sarah Henry, (202) 238-9088 ext. 105,

(Washington D.C., April 22, 2019) – This morning, American Humanist Association (AHA) Legal Director David Niose sent a warning notice to Sheriff Mark Inglett, of Houston County, Minnesota after the department posted a sectarian Christian post on their official and public Facebook page.

The notice reminds the Sheriff’s Department that “such blatantly religious statements on a government-run page, unambiguously promoting Christian beliefs, are seen as problematic by many in your community,” as reinforced by comments on the post reflecting concerns about a potential violation of the wall of separation between church and state.

“Taxpayers from diverse religious and nonreligious backgrounds fund the very office that is now promoting Christianity,” explains Roy Speckhardt, executive director of the American Humanist Association. “This is not just a constitutional violation, it’s a slap in the face to the many member s of the community who do not practice Christianity, but deserve equal consideration by their public officials.”

The notice points out that failure by the department and Sheriff Inglett to correct this behavior “in the future could only be seen as a brazen disregard for church-state separation, thus inviting litigation.”


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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