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Sheriff permitted to post Christian messages on Facebook, judge rules

A Tennessee Sheriff may continue posting Christian messages on Facebook, a district court judge ruled after rejecting an atheist group's temporary injunction request on June 8.

(Pixabay)A photo showing the Bible

The American Atheists sued Sheriff Eric Watson after he posted a religious content in March on Bradley County Office's Facebook page to celebrate Easter Sunday. The atheists requested for an injunction as the litigation is ongoing but Judge Thomas W. Phillips ruled that there's no legal reason to prevent the sheriff from doing so.

An official statement shared by Bradley County Office's Public Relations department with The Christian Post stated that Watson is pleased with the court's ruling and that he's looking forward to the court resolution set on Aug. 24. He also expressed his gratitude for the support he has received.

According to the complaint, "[The] sheriff promoted or furthered, or attempted to establish or established a particular religion, the Christian religion, by his acts set forth herein."

The complaint also noted that Watson deleted some comments made on his religious post.

It said, "[His] actions in suppressing speech are overbroad, overreaching, and are oppressive and demeaning to plaintiffs and other citizens with whom he disagrees."

However, the sheriff maintained that those actions were something that he's allowed to do and that he'd still defend them. He added that he's always been vocal of his Christian faith since he ran for office in 2006 and that it would not have changed even if he were not elected as a sheriff, according to Cleveland Daily Banner.

Watson also revealed that he received nothing but an outpouring of love from the citizens of Bradley County.

"It has come to a point I can't even keep up with the positive and ongoing images, texts and emails we have received supporting this effort in standing up for our religious freedom," he told Cleveland Daily Banner.

Before the court ruling on the injunction was out, hundreds gathered June 3 at Cleveland Church to show their support for the sheriff.

The event's organizer, Pastor Rob Works told WDEF about the lawsuit, "This seems to be about the first amendment suppression, but really, what we see it is a spiritual warfare."

Watson shared he is seriously considering a counter lawsuit.

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