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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.
On Christmas Eve 1968 three Americans became the first humans to visit another world. What they did to celebrate was unexpected and profound, and will be remembered throughout all human history. Genesis: the Story of Apollo 8, Robert Zimmerman's classic history of humanity's first journey to another world, tells that story, and it is now available as both an ebook and an audiobook, both with a foreword by Valerie Anders and a new introduction by Robert Zimmerman.
The ebook is available everywhere for $5.99 (before discount) at amazon, or direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit. If you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and the author gets a bigger cut much sooner.
The audiobook is also available at all these vendors, and is also free with a 30-day trial membership to Audible.
"Not simply about one mission, [Genesis] is also the history of America's quest for the moon... Zimmerman has done a masterful job of tying disparate events together into a solid account of one of America's greatest human triumphs."--San Antonio Express-News