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Today’s blacklisted American: Policeman forced to resign simply because he is Christian

Kersey's forbidden opinion

They’re coming for you next: Rookie cop Jacob Kersey was forced to resign from his new job on the Port Wentworth, Georgia, police force when his superiors demanded he no longer express his own personal Christian beliefs on his own private Facebook account.

The screen capture to the right was the Facebook post by Kersey that instigated his problems. On January 3rd, the day after he posted it, his supervisor ordered him to take the post down. The situation then devolved as follows, as described in the letter [pdf] sent to the City of Port Wentworth by Kersey’s legal representative, First Liberty:

His supervisor warned Mr. Kersey that the Department may terminate his employment if he did not delete the Facebook post. After that conversation, Lt. Justin Hardy also ordered Mr. Kersey to remove the post. Still feeling that the Department was forcing him to choose between his Christian faith and his job, Mr. Kersey did not remove the post. Later that day, Maj. Lee Sherrod called Mr. Kersey and ordered him to come to the office the next morning and turn in all the items that belonged to the city.

On January 4, Mr. Kersey arrived at the police station and met with Maj. Sherrod, Lt. Hardy, Capt. Nathan Jentzen, and Police Chief Matt Libby. Chief Libby told Mr. Kersey that his post about his Christian beliefs was the “same thing as saying the N-word and F— all those homosexuals.” Capt. Jentzen told him that his free speech was “limited due to his position as . . . a police officer.” They told Mr. Kersey “he could not post things like that” and that he would be placed on administrative leave while the city investigated him.

The department later sent him a strange letter that said “there was not sufficient evidence to terminate him,” but if he posted any of his own interpretations or opinions anywhere that offended anyone for any reason, he would then be fired. At that point Kersey realized that he was being forced to choose between his own religious beliefs or continuing as a police officer. He subsequently resigned on January 17, 2023.

If you want to get a full sense of the pressure his superiors placed him under, watch this interview Kersey gave to First Liberty:

The actions of Kersey’s superiors were clearly in violation of Kersey’s First Amendment rights, and thus, the story was was picked up by several major news sources. Not surprisingly, only a few days after these stories were published, on January 30th, Police Chief Matt Libby announced his retirement, stating publicly that it “was a forced retirement. It is not what I planned.” Though city officials cited a number of reasons for forcing him out, at least one official hinted that Kersey’s situation was a factor.

City Manager Steve Davis said the decision comes after years of issues within the department. “He [Libby] was asked to retire, in lieu of other investigations and other issues, and violations that were out there,” Davis said.

Kersey’s resignation might have helped force Libby out, but unfortunately, Kersey’s decision to quit now prevents him from suing the police force for wrongful action. Had he remained on the force, immediately posted more opinions in opposition to homosexual marriage or in opposition to the queer agenda — based on his own interpretation of the Bible — and was then fired because some unnamed person filed a complaint, he would have then had grounds to sue and force the police department to follow the Constitution.

Resigning of his own free will however lets Port Wentworth off the hook. He no longer can easily call them to accounts. Nor can he do anything to help those who still work there to regain their free speech rights. Though Libby was forced to retire, his interim replacement is Assistant Chief Lee Sherrod, who you will notice above was one of the censors who ganged up on Kersey and also signed that strange letter above, forbidding Kersey from ever exercising his First Amendment rights.

Thus, it is very likely nothing will really change in the Port Wentworth police department. If you are Christian your First Amendment rights are likely still cancelled. Christians on that police force are still second class citizens, forced to ride in the back of the bus.

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  • Hmmm. Not sure what I think about this one.

    I heartily approve of the “if you don’t like it, leave” approach that Kersey took. The “stay and fight” approach is how we ended up with the various “equal opportunity” laws, which are obviously in tension, if not conflict, with freedom of assembly.

    You can’t have both. Either I can manage my property however I wish or I’m constrained. If I am constrained, I see no reason not to equally constrain public officials.

    If I am forced to give a “marriage discount” to any two beings who claim to be married, putting up a billboard in the lobby saying “your sort of marriage isn’t” is violating the spirit, if not text, of the law.

    My personal preference would be “it’s my business, I’ll give discounts to whomever I please with whatever justification – or lack thereof- that I please.” We do not live in that world and I’m not sure that’s entirely a bad thing.

    The fairness argument that government-recognized marriage comes with stuff that cannot be worked-around by other legal means is a strong one. The most obvious example being Social Security survivor benefits, which have nothing to do with children, but rather keeping the spouse off welfare. Wills, Trusts, and Power-of-Attorneys can get around a lot of things, but one cannot get around that one. Recognizing “gay marriage” is certainly not the only way out. A one-sentence law would fix it: All occurrences of the word “marriage” in all statutes are hereby replaced with “marriage or civil union” and “spouse” with “spouse or partner”.

    As a personal note: I was gay-married regardless of whether I wanted it or not due to state common-law marriage laws.

  • James Street

    From First Liberty’s letter: “The leadership cited ‘separation of church and state’ as the reason why Mr. Kersey could not post his religious beliefs on his private social media accounts.”

    First of all the phrase “separation of church and state” is not in the Constitution, and secondly the 1st Amendment was NOT written to protect government from religion, but to protect religion from government. The police leadership are either evil, idiots or both.

    What the 1st Amendment says is “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

    First Liberty Institute. I’m keeping a list of all the law firms defending conservatives that Robert names in his blacklisted articles. I feel I may need them. Soon.

    As the old Baptist preacher said, “If you want easy don’t become a Christian. Look what happened to the Boss.”

  • James Street wrote, ” I’m keeping a list of all the law firms defending conservatives that Robert names in his blacklisted articles. I feel I may need them. Soon.”

    I should do an update article listing these firms. Their number has grown, and I bookmark them as I come across them in my articles.

  • Cotour

    Was the man at least asked during his hiring interview if he was able to be objective no matter what his religious beliefs are when he was doing his job?

    I would think that that question would be a key question to ask any potential hire, no?

    You can do a job and keep your personal beliefs to yourself.

    Mutual respect, teach it, live it, demand it.

    In the powers that be proactive reaction to wanting to minimize potential bias accusations in a future context they have caused a real problem today. Lawyers will be figuring this one out.

  • Edward

    markedup2 wrote: “As a personal note: I was gay-married regardless of whether I wanted it or not due to state common-law marriage laws.

    This is where it all falls apart. It is the law of unintended consequences. It is all fun and games until someone puts an eye out or is forced into an unwanted, legally binding marriage. It is the modern version of the shotgun marriage, except in this case it is not the bride’s father with the gun, it is the overbearing, overreaching, tyrannical, freedom-hating government marrying two unwilling victims for no good reason. In the former case, the groom took liberties, but in the second case it is the government taking liberties.

    So, to mis-paraphrase Raymond Donovan, which government office does the now-gay-married markedup2 go to, to get his straight reputation and unwed liberty back?

  • Andi

    Bob, please do such an update article. I have a feeling it will be tres useful..


  • Andi: Ask and you shall receive. :)

  • Eric R. Ashley

    You’re allowed to have opinions in your private time as a police officer. You’re allowed to call blacks the n word in your private time, or you should be.

    That is the First Amendment viewpoint.

    It is one I do not hold.

    Free speech is a trick by those who hate Truth.

    You’re free to publically speak the Truth. You can think whatever Lie you want (like gay marriage is a thing).

    Also, he should have made them fire him. Because they might not have. Evil likes to bluff.

  • Michael Keehn

    >>>Kersey’s resignation might have helped force Libby out, but unfortunately, Kersey’s decision to quit now prevents him from suing the police force for wrongful action.

    Yes and no. Due to the nature of police work, you can assert the illegal discrimination created a hostile work environment, which in police work can be deadly, therefore acting to remove the danger can be cast as a coerced action. So if he can successfully argue their religious discrimination reasonably made him feel as if he was in danger due to the deteriorating working conditions and the nature of his work, suing is no longer an impossibility.

  • Mike Rios

    Although I understand why he resigned I personally would have told them to take a long walk off of a short pier. If you give this bunch an inch they always take a mile. My first pastor was ordered by the State of Texas to license his ministry with the State because a portion of his ministry reached out to drug addicts, young people in trouble with the law, and girls who had become pregnant out of wedlock. If he became licensed the church could no longer use the Word of God as the foundation of the help performed. He would have had to turn it into a place that couldn’t help even a stray dog. He refused and was jailed twice. They harassed him until the day he died.
    They only want control. Never submit.

  • Betty

    ‘S understand that it isn’t only the police chief but his superiors, the town supervisors and mayor that fostered and created this atmosphere. San Francisco isn’t a jungle because of the mayor but because the citizens allowed the savages, barbarians, and perverts to run the circus.

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