Harris County, GA — An apparently confused Georgia sheriff attempted to make a declaration of his intolerance, setting off a storm of controversy.
Sheriff Mike Jolley of Harris County decided that it would be a good idea to put up a sign in his town ‘warning’ people who disagree with his views to ‘leave.’
Underneath the “Welcome to Harris County Georgia” sign, Sheriff Jolley added another sign that reads:
“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!”
Of course there is nothing wrong with saying or doing these things, however, telling people to leave for simply disagreeing with them is a problem – especially if you are the sheriff.
In a hypocritical and contradictory statement to a local news channel, Jolley said, “I spent 20 years in the army to give everyone the right not to agree with it, and voice their opinion if they’re not and that’s fine. But after being the sheriff of Harris County for 23 years, I believe that the vast majority of my citizens here in Harris County agree with what’s on that sign.”
So, to be clear, this sheriff just said that he spent ’20 years in the army to give everyone the right not to agree with it’ and says ‘that’s fine.’ But then he puts up a sign that says if you do not agree with it, to leave.
At what point does putting up an official sign become dangerous or cross a legal line? Obviously you should be able to stick a “Vote for Joe” sign in your front lawn, but can someone put up an official-looking “Welcome to Harris County! No Jews allowed” sign? Can an elected official put up said official-looking sign?
What if a person with a God bless atheists or a Happy Hannukah bumper sticker were to be pulled over by this sheriff? Would he grant them the same respect as a person with a God Bless America sticker? Judging by his choice to put this sign up, he would most likely treat that person differently.
Of course, the sheriff, like every other person in the world, has a right to voice their opinion. However, when that ‘opinion’ becomes an official ‘warning’ to anyone who disagrees with the man who holds a monopoly on the use of force, a line has most assuredly been crossed.