It's interesting how intolerance tends to be one-sided when the topics are God, Christmas, respecting America's service men and women and the American flag. The Georgia Harris County Sheriff Mike Jolley is apparently fed up with what is often one-sided tolerance and political correctness on these topics. So he posted a sign on his county border that reads:
"Welcome to Harris County, Georgia! WARNING: Harris County is politically incorrect. We say: Merry Christmas, God Bless America and In God We Trust; We salute our troops and our flag. If this offends you... LEAVE !"
The sign is prominently displayed on State Route 116. Sheriff Jolley says his motive for placing the sign on the Georgia county border is that there have been too many years in which the "silent majority" have felt an increasing pressure to quench their 1st Amendment rights, and he felt that it was time to encourage them to speak out. He paid for the sign with his own money.
The sign has certainly had an impact on getting social media users to exercise their 1st Amendment rights on the matter. Responses have been as broad as calling Jolley's sign "childish" to calling him out as a "godly leader".
Jolley is a Christian and a veteran. Many of the officers in his area know that, and so when they saw a similar sign posted elsewhere, they told him about it, thinking he would enjoy knowing about it. They were right. Jolley has paid $553 to have the sign posted, and he plans to post more signs along other strategic roads in the area. He has also had property owners in the county approach him and tell him that they would like to post one in their respective yards.
Jolley's bold witness has not gone unnoticed by Freedom from Religion. The group's president and co-founder, Laurie Gaylor, said that she thinks that the sign is, "proactive and divisive."
Jolley has said that those living in Georgia's Harris County are, "more than welcome to worship whatever god they choose fit. For me and mine, we worship Jesus Christ," and that he believes that, "the vast majority of the people support the troops and support our flag, and I believe the vast majority of the people would like to say if you don't like that then leave."
Another group that has taken notice of the politically incorrect sign is The American Humanist Association. That particular group holds multiple views such as atheistic, agnosticism, rationalism, naturalism, secularism and others.
The group released a statement on Wednesday morning that read in part that, "While some residents of your community may support a sign with such a message, there can be no question that it conveys a religiously biased message that is invidious toward those who do not hold theistic, and particularly Christian, views. For a government official to affirmatively order those who do not support 'Merry Christmas' to leave the community, to expressly state that visitors must accept 'God Bless America' and other theistic messaging is unquestionably an unconstitutional act of hostility."
Jolley has served six terms as the Harris County Sheriff.