The police department in Alabama posted a status this week noting that there have been five local murders this year—all committed by youth—and remarking that such evil is occurring because men have “turned away from God.”

“These murders have been done by our young people,” the post mourned. “This is happening because we have turned away from God and embraced Satan. We may have not meant to do so, but we have.”

“It is time to ask for God’s help to stop this,” the status continued. “It’s time to be parents and raise our children, not have them raise us.

Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) complained that “The department’s promotion and rejection of specific religious beliefs—turning toward ‘God’ and away from ‘Satan’—is illegal,” it asserted. “Our Constitution’s Establishment Clause, which protects all Americans’ religious freedom by ensuring the continued separation of religion and government, dictates that the government cannot in any way endorse religion.”

FFRF further argued that the Opp Police Department had no proof that violent crime is a result of men turning away from God, and rather asserted that it is the least religious countries of the world that “have the lowest rates of violent crime, homicide and corruption.”

“Encouraging readers to ‘ask for God’s help’ on the official department Facebook page violates the department’s obligation under the Constitution as a government entity,” the correspondence continued. “We ask that the department edit the post to remove that message and refrain from posting religious messages in the future.”

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