ADL Expresses Concern about Larimer Sheriff’s Religious Comments on Government Website

  • November 16, 2007

The Mountain States Region of the Anti-Defamation League expressed concern today about the remarks made by Larimer County Sheriff Jim Alderden on the official Larimer County website, in which he expressed his personal opinions promoting Christianity in the public square.

“Sheriff Alderden is certainly free to hold personal opinions about his faith and the propriety of religious displays in the public square,” said Bruce H. DeBoskey, ADL Mountain States Regional Director, “but he should not be using an official government website to promote a Christian agenda, to misstate Constitutional law, and to mischaracterize the intent of those citizens who seek to uphold our longstanding tradition of separation of church and state.

“Sheriff Alderden, as a representative of all of the people of Larimer County, should not use his bully pulpit to promote one religion over others. ADL calls upon him, and all public officials, instead to use their leadership positions to demonstrate the importance of inclusivity, not division and exclusion, in Larimer County.

“The separation of church and state has preserved religious freedom for all people in America, and has enabled this country to become the most religiously observant nation in the industrialized world. As Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor wrote: ‘Those who would renegotiate the boundaries between church and state must answer a difficult question: “Why would we trade a system that has served us so well for one that has served others so poorly?”