Indiana State Police fire an officer for proselytizing on the job

Every minute Officer Hamilton was talking about his religion he was neglecting his job duties.

Let’s face it, nobody likes being proselytized to. When a Jehovah’s Witness comes knocking people aren’t tripping over themselves to get to the door. A child isn’t thrilled when she empties her bag of Halloween candy to find a religious tract. Even so, these methods of sharing faith are fairly easy to ignore – but what if someone in a position of power corners you and tries to convert you?

That’s exactly what happened in Indiana earlier this year. A woman is suing a state trooper who pulled her over, issued her a warning ticket, then proceeded to ask about her beliefs and her church-going habits.

According to an attorney with the ACLU, Wendy Pyle was pulled over by Officer Brian Hamilton in January for speeding. He then asked her if she had “been saved” and invited her to his church, providing her driving directions to it even though she never expressed any interest.

“Ms. Pyle was extremely uncomfortable with these questions,” reads the lawsuit, adding that she felt intimidated and obligated to answer these very personal questions that were wholly unrelated to the traffic violation. In an effort to end the awkward interaction, Wendy stated that she was indeed “saved” and attended church regularly but things didn’t end there. Officer Hamilton went as far as adding her to his church’s prayer list by which other church members later contacted her.

Previous Incidents

As it turns out, this isn’t the first time Officer Hamilton has gotten into trouble for proselytizing on the job. The January incident was a violation of a 2014 order that he not “question others regarding their religious beliefs nor provide religious pamphlets or similar advertisements” while on duty.

Due to his multiple violations, the Indiana State Police fired him after an internal investigation. The department superintendent, Doug Carter, commented that “while all of us – citizen and police officer – enjoy the right to freedom of religion and freedom of speech, there are appropriate and proper restrictions placed on agents of the State related to their actions while engaged in their official duties…While I respect Mr. Hamilton’s religious views, I am also charged to respect every citizen’s rights, and the best way forward for the citizens of Indiana, and for Mr. Hamilton, was to end his employment as a state police officer.”

Was there any real harm done? No. And some are complaining that this violates Mr. Hamilton’s religious liberty since he wasn’t coercing anyone, he was simply following a tenet of his faith by sharing the good word. It’s better that someone be enthused about their faith than to be a lukewarm believer.

Wherein Lies the Harm

There are, however, a few problems with incidents like this. First off, it’s just plain annoying. If you disagree, you should prove it and sign up here to invite some Mormon missionaries to your house to try and convert you and see how that goes. Secondly, keep in mind that Officer Hamilton was on the clock during these incidents. Citizens were paying him to keep the peace, protect and serve. Every minute he was talking about his religion he was neglecting his job duties. Thirdly, a state trooper is, while on the job, a representative of the state. The Constitution doesn’t allow for the state to have a religious preference.

This would be a completely different story if he were Muslim. Tennessee almost implemented a statewide ban on certain school subjects because parents were upset that their childrens’ Comparative Religions class included a chapter on Islam for goodness sake. Imagine how much stronger the reaction would be if a cop was trying to convert citizens to join the Muslim faith. Instead of people coming to his defense, there would likely be town hall meetings about how to deal with the Sharia Law Cop.

Would you feel differently if a cop pulled you over to proselytize to you if he was Christian versus Muslim? And if so, should they be treated differently from a legal stance? Whose freedom of religion is being infringed upon in these circumstances: the cop’s for his being fired, the citizens’ for being pressured to discuss religion with an officer of the state, or the taxpayers’ for having their money spent to promote Christianity regardless of what their beliefs are? Let us know what you think.



  1. Susan Colmenares says:

    Those who wish to hear preachers have ample opportunity to do so. Proselytizing has no place in any other context.

    1. Dane Millanta says:

      I back your comment completely well said!

    2. TJ says:

      The gesture is in my opinion crass in this context. One could argue that he is in a position of power and belief is very personal. I don’t think sharing the gospel on public funds is appropriate. He should be disciplined but she shouldn’t sue. She will recover from his misjudgement.

      1. Galen M. Ross says:

        I have to disagree with her not filing a lawsuit, I think she should, this is a multi-offender in this case unless he has to pay damages I don’t think he will learn from losing his job alone, he will see it as a form of discrimination against him and, will try to say the state of Indiana is being mean to him.

        1. Jennifer Phillips says:

          Of course, Galen. I am sure he’s feeling like quite the martyr now that he’s been fired.

          1. Rve Alex Agbozo says:

            My his Rve Alex Agbozo and please can you hlpe me to belud my church thank you for hlpeing me may God bes you

    3. Lyn Anton says:

      What concerns me more is that as a Pagan (loosely speaking) and I am wearing a Pentacle, would he have given me a warning or a ticket. He obviously had no problem bringing his beliefs to the job, so what would his reaction be to an open Pagan?

      1. Susan Colmenares says:

        Since a great many folks confuse paganism with satanism, you would probably get cited for every possible driving infraction. At least I hope that is the worst that would happen.

        1. Lynne Burroughs says:

          paganism is any religion that is not Christian, Biblically. Since raising the dead is of Satan, that would make paganism part of it too.

          1. Susan Acevedo says:

            Excuse me but didn’t Jesus raise the dead?

          2. hsw says:


          3. Susan Colmenares says:

            Nope! Paganism is not any nonchristian faith

          4. Lynne Burroughs says:

            i can’t correct it, but auto correct must have done something here cuz i don’t remember that last half. i know Christ raised from the dead….once again, paganism would fall into religions not of Christ.

          5. Lynne Burroughs says:

            Jesus is God. He’s allowed to raise the dead.

        2. hsw says:

          Pagans are not “any religion that is not Christian.” They have a very specific set of beliefs and practices which have everything to do with nature, and nothing to do with satan.

          1. Carol Amina says:

            thank you hsw. I mean really some people are so ill-informed and lumping Pagans and Satanist together …. thanks for your remarks
            Peace 🙂

          2. Susan Colmenares says:


          3. Lynne Burroughs says:

            The Bible says otherwise:

            Deuteronomy 18:9-12 ESV / 27

            “When you come into the land that the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominable practices of those nations. There shall not be found among you anyone who burns his son or his daughter as an offering, anyone who practices divination or tells fortunes or interprets omens, or a sorcerer or a charmer or a medium or a necromancer or one who inquires of the dead, for whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord. And because of these abominations the Lord your God is driving them out before you.

        3. Lynne Burroughs says:

          I am thinking I did post it and didn’t complete the sentence…… but raising of the dead by the witch in the old testament. if not of Christ, paganism….if not of Christ, of satan.

    4. Minister PT Stallworth says:

      As a Christian minister, I think there is a time and place for everything. Proselytizing on public work time, where you impose your religion on others is not conducive to what you are hired to do. Spreading the good news is wonderful, but we should employ common sense. Often time religious newcomers are zealous and want to share the good news of Jesus Christ, or whatever their religious belief may be, but it is our job to spread the news in a manner that is conducive to sharing God’s love without bringing an approach or unfavorable dislike for Our Lord, or disrespect others,by assuming that we are the only ones who have the Lord/God in our lives and others do not, so therefore I must interrogate you. We must use intellect, as well as common, spiritual sense to understand when is the appropriate time to witness, or share our belief. I don’t think the Trooper should have gotten fired, but maybe he should have been reassigned, and the lady evolved probably sued to make a presidence to protect her rights and and the rights of others. There should be more teaching in the church on how to conduct yourself and represent your religion in the work place. Blessings to each and everyone of you. Minister PT Stallworth,

      1. Carol Amina says:

        I am not a Christian, but would like to thank you for your balanced comment. When I was involved with a Christian Church I received constant pushing and reprimand because I worked for a government agency where we were strictly prohibited from any kind of Proselytizing. I tried to explain over and over to my Pastor and the elders that I needed my job as a single mother and in fact felt strongly that Separation of Church and State was a good thing. But they never let up. Between that and the fact they wanted me to marry when I didn’t wish to alone with them telling me I must turn my back on my daughter for being gay I soon came to realize that Christianity just didn’t line up with my heart and mind. I am grateful to have many Christian friends who like you seem to take a more balanced and loving approach to things. Peace and Blessings

      2. captainwolfe says:

        thank you minister Pt for your sensible response to this situation. I agree with you 100%

  2. Tom Jaynes says:

    Many years ago, I decided that proselytizing was not the thing to do. That decision was formed because I had many friends who were members of the Masonic Order. I knew they were members, they made no effort to hide it. Once I asked one of my Masonic friends why he never asked me to become a member. In fact, I noted that Masons do not ask anyone to become a member. You have to ask them to join. I was attracted to this group because, to a man, they were great fellows. They did a lot of good and they lived good lives. My friend explained to me that that was the very point. Their example drew me to them. The way they lived their lives and the good works they performed made me want to be like them. It was a form of silent proselytizing that they have employed since the beginning of the Masonic organization and it works very well for them. I was reminded of a biblical verse that said something to the effect that “you will know them by their works”.
    I am not saying everyone should become a Mason, but I am saying that the best prostelyizing is setting the example and letting others come to you. Asking people if they have been saved immediately puts most on the defensive. Not a good way to start a sales pitch in any business or any faith.
    This officer was wrong on a number of different levels and should not be surprised to have lost his job. The same should happen to a clerk in a store or a real estate agent or a mechanic. Prostelyizing is in nobody’s job description. Act right, be right and do good. People will notice and ask you why. Then go for it, with all the religious fervor you can muster!

    1. Doc Cribbett says:

      Very well articulated,…brother! 😉

    2. Tamu Carter says:

      That true they are wonderful people and as well they are loving Christines

      1. Dudeist Priest says:

        I, too, once loved a Christine. But, alas, ’twas not to be.

        1. Carol Amina says:

          lol Dudeist Priest you crack me up 😀 thanks for making me smile with your comment
          Peace and Blessings

    3. TJ says:

      Absolutely amazing response!

    4. Galen M. Ross says:

      Well said. That being said, I celebrate life in everything I do, when I meet someone new that idea is what I use to help them in their life as well. Jesus said, “Do unto others as you would have them to unto you.” I believe that included your faith, if you push your faith onto someone else then it should be ok for them to push theirs onto you.
      Years ago when I lived in Florida there were Jehovah’s Witness’s who came by my house on a regular basis to try to get me to come to their church, they didn’t accept that I had a church home and that I wasn’t interested, knowing they would come by one Saturday I borrowed a friends robes, they were Pagan and, I found a Pentagram that was turned upside down on necklace and when they arrived I greeted them at the door dressed in the robe wearing the pentagram, I said to them, “Hey, I’m glad you came, how would you like to help sacrifice a goat to Satan today? We’re just about to start.” They left so fast they left a vapor trail. I never saw them again. I know it was mean but, they were so insistent all the time and never gave up, until I did that.

      1. Sr. Cherie says:

        I did something similar, Galen. I used to listen to the Jehovah Witnesses when they came around using rhem to argue my points of view. It would often become a great debate. In later years, I was telling a group that kept coming around that I was comfortable in my faith. But, they kept coming to my door. One day, I said, “If you come to my church, then I will come to yours.” They agreed. Then I told them I was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Later Day Saints. They couldn’t get away from me fast enough.

        As far as the policeman goes, I am glad he is enthusiastic about his faith, but there is a time and place for all things.

        Years ago, at work, I noticed a woman proselytizing to a fellow worker. I could tell he was turning a deaf ear to her and trying to get away. That day I learned not to push. I have had several people ask me about my faith, sometimes in inappropriate settings. I answer quickly and continue my work. If it is in the right setting, I will gladly talk faith.

        1. Lynne Burroughs says:

          I let God and His Holy Spirit determine that. As it says in the Bible, “the Spirit gives utterance”.

      2. Dale-Harriet Rogovich says:

        I once did something similar with excellent results. Another one that chased them off: “I’m a Jew, Jesus was a Jew. If it was good enough for him, it’s good enough for me.” (Blessed be!)

      3. Carol Amina says:

        Perfect! I did something once a bit like that to some Mormon Guys who kept coming to my door back in the late 70’s
        I was a hippy chick with a little girl living on my own. I was always being pushed by churches to join them. I was a practicing Buddhist at the time and felt no longing to join a church. But the Mormon Elders just would not let up. So I accepted to have them come do a bible study one evening. I got my Buddhist shrine all ready and the incense burning. When they came in I told them in all fairness they needed to join me first if I was to join them. I knelt down and proceeded to chant ….. when I turned around they were gone and my door was hanging open. They never came back.
        I guess they didn’t want to give me the same respect I was going to give them?

    5. Walter Johnson says:

      Good comment…

    6. Wesley says:

      God’s Word says you must be born again.
      In the gospel of John
      Jesus Christ tells Nicodemas that you can not earn your way to heaven by being good.

      Jesus last command
      before leaving earth was to every believer
      Go to every creature throughout the world & preach the gospel.
      Share Jesus Christ and His saving power

      1. Lynne Burroughs says:


      2. Carol Amina says:

        That is if you believe in what the bible says and if you believe that there is just one way! I don’t and many others don’t and we have a right to not join. I am happy you found your own way but please allow the others who don’t agree some respect. I give it and accept to receive it.

  3. Susan says:

    Absolutely true.

  4. Pastor Pete says:

    I think this is fairly straightforward, this gentleman was employed as a cop. He was proselytising on the job. A job which is funded from tax payers money. If I walked into any kind of business and this kind of inappropriate pressure was put on me as a user of whichever service it was I should first complain to the management, then take my business elsewhere. The actions of his superiors were entirely correct, there is no place for this in the police force, this is an abuse of power. Religion is a personal matter, as Tom was just saying, show a good example of compassion, friendliness, good humour, and all round love for your neighbour, and people will want to talk to you.

    1. Carol Amina says:

      Thank you Pastor Pete for the respect you show to others even if they don’t believe as you do.
      Peace and Blessings

  5. Gary Shade says:

    The author’s assessment of what happened in Tennessee is NOT correct. It was more than learning about Islam or comparing Islam to Christianity or other religions.

    You said: ” Tennessee almost implemented a statewide ban on certain school subjects because parents were upset that their childrens’ Comparative Religions class included a chapter on Islam for goodness sake.”

    Well “for goodness sake” Your story is biassed and not accurate.
    Here is what happened:
    “Parents in a Nashville suburb expressed alarm this week because their middle school children are learning about Islam in a world history class but, they say, the school is pointedly ignoring Christianity.

    Brandee Porterfield, who has a seventh-grade daughter at Spring Hill Middle School in Spring Hill, Tenn., said her daughter came home with world history schoolwork all about the Five Pillars of Islam and other core teachings of the Abrahamic religion.

    Specifically, according to Spring Hill Home Page, Porterfield said her daughter’s world history project was based around the Five Pillars. The first and most important pillar — the shahada in Arabic — is roughly translated as: “There is no god but God. Muhammad is the messenger of God.”

    Porterfield said her daughter’s teacher instructed the girl to write: “Allah is the only God.”

    Hardly proper for a class that supposedly COMPARES religions to favor one while ignoring the others.

    Read more:

    1. Bill Robinson says:

      I am a Christian and I believe that Allah and God are the same deity. Having said that, it was wrong for that history class in a state-owned/run school to allow the teaching of only one religion to the exclusion of all others. It would have been better to have a religious history course that taught about ALL of the world’s major religions.

      1. William Yrigoyen says:

        How in the world can you believe that? Their is absolutely nothing in common with Yahweh or the Christian God and Allah. Most main line Christians believe in a Triune God while Allah is a single entity on to himself. Christian’s believe Jesus Christ was the son of God and Muslims believe he was a “good man”. Christianity teaches love and forgiveness while Islam has the fundamental teaching of convert to my religion or I can kill you. There is absolutely no common ground in these two religions.

        1. hsw says:

          You’ve obviously never read the Old Testament.

          1. Lynne Burroughs says:

            funny how no one is paying attention to the real issue in this post, i would call responses to the post “of satan” because it’s about a whole book on muslim beliefs is being allowed to be read and taught in the public school classroom and Christianity and other religions are not allowed to do so, the girl was told by her teacher she had to write “allah is God”….are you really that worldly that you can’t see what’s happening here….the teacher is forcing her to write “allah is God” and you guys go after who God is instead of the real issue???? hello……….

        2. kariorit says:

          The Life force of Love and Light that dwells within me, I call God. I recognize Jesus as His Son who came to reveal the Father to us. This is a part of MY journey. Some may call Him Allah (which is just Arabic for God). Islam is not a violent religion, any more that Christianity is. Extreme elements of each have distorted the reality of the fact that God is Love. If you love, you are doing the work of God. I personally don’t care what you call yourself.

          1. Susan Colmenares says:

            In fact Jesus told us that the two great commandments were to love God and our neighbors.

        3. Carol Amina says:

          Real Muslims never Proselytize! I lived in a Muslim community for 3 years and never had a practicing Muslim try to convert me. In fact they say strictly that you must come on your own free will and if anyone wants to confess there desire by saying Shahada (Shahada is the Muslim profession of faith, expressing the two simple, fundamental beliefs that make one a Muslim: La ilaha illa Allah wa-Muhammad rasul Allah. There is no god but God and Muhammad is the prophet of Allah.) then you must not be pressured or forced.
          The crap most of you say about Islam is BS, you get it from Fox news and other media and have little or no real life experience with Real Muslims. I try to remind myself that all Christians are not like the bible thumping, clinic bombers but its kinda hard when i read this stuff. Open your mind and heart to the possibility that others that are not Christians might be good and sweet humans. Why not try to be more like the Man Jesus and less like the crusaders who came to kill and destroy in times of old.

      2. Carol Amina says:

        I am not a Christian but I agree with Bills statement regarding any Religion being emphasized in a Public school. If they want to teach the history of Religion then they must give equal time and attention to all. And to have a person who is well educated in each one teach on it. Not a teacher who may have bias one way or the other.

  6. Pastor B Stevens says:

    Separation of church and state —- incidents like this just pushes people even further away .

  7. Jesus + kittens = love says:

    christians are being persecuted all around this country. This nation is going to hell. women complain that they are being persecuted if they cant murder there babys or gays act like victims if someone doesn’t bake them cakes meanwhile this guy is fired just for sharing the love of Jesus. Who are the real victims here? christians

    1. Tiny Cabin says:

      Seriously? He’s a State cop. I don’t pay him to talk about his fables. He has a job, and it’s NOT spreading religion.

      And read your Bible. Abortion is not murder. It is theft. Because a baby doesn’t have a soul until it has drawn its first breath. Look it up…it’s in there. If anyone causes the death of a fetus, he shall pay to the father a fine, for the fetus is his property. If, however, anyone kills a baby born of a wife, they shall be put to death. It isn’t a baby. It’s a soulless fetus until it breathes.

      What about Christians who act like G-d will strike them down if they bake a cake for a gay couple, but completely ignore their multiple marriages, eating of pork and shellfish, their greed, their indifference to the suffering of others, etc? G-d only cares about who is sleeping with whom, right?

      Christians are not the victims. They have been the oppressors for centuries. Now the “Other People” want some equality. You know the “Other People”…they’re the ones that magically exist in the Land of Nod for Cain to go marry one of their daughters. Even though Adam and Eve are allegedly the first people. And they had Cain and Abel – no mention of anyone else.

      1. Susan Colmenares says:

        This needs a like button.

      2. Carol says:

        Best post I’ve read today! Thank you!!

      3. Sheila Morrison says:

        So much THIS!

      4. Fay says:

        Hi all Fay here. I am a pagan and have been telling people for a long time about the other people in the land of Nod. So many don’t know what I am talking about. I live in a small rural town in New South Wales, Australia, and some of the locals would still like to burn me at the stake. I believe we all have a slice of the pie. Blessed Be

    2. Richard Craig says:

      You’ve got it half right–Kittens are real, Jesus is not.

      1. Fay says:

        Hi Richard, in my own opinion and it is only mine. Jesus was a real person, a nice pagan guy who hung out with his 12 good mates and taught metaphysics and hands on healing (you know like Reiki ) just my opinion
        Blessed Be

        1. Carol says:

          I enjoyed the picture I got in my mind when I read your post Fay

    3. Bob says:

      Christians are being persecuted? Seriously? Because people are starting to stand up to you car-lot, pick-your-own-option-from-the-bible hypocrites? Because we won’t be cowed by your demand that we live our lives according to YOUR dictates and beliefs? Because we are no longer willing to be denied our Constitutional rights because a book that was written and re-written many times to suit the prejudices and needs of a particular time? Here’s a suggestion, you poor persecuted christian; live YOUR life the way you want and stay out of everyone else. Hapily, within another couple of generations, your mythology will be a thing of the past.

      1. Carol says:

        Yeah! What Bob said.
        Thanks Bob

        1. captainwolfe says:

          Maybe Bob should invest in a spell check program WOW!

  8. SW says:

    It’s good to see that he was treated equally.
    He was warned about his behaviour and continued to preach while working. He should have saved his job first rather then being a martyr.
    A true Christian would not have so much hate towards women and gays and others that don’t conform to their norms. Rather love, empathy and
    excepting others for who they are and what their own faith is.
    When you truly find God in you, you will find God in others.
    Jesus and God = Love
    Let’s have love and equality for all.

  9. Dave crandall says:

    I do not see the harm in asking. If person in not receptive stop. There should not be such a tight grip on this

    1. Susan Colmenares says:

      I would feel intimidated if a police officer asked me about my religious affiliation. It would be extremely uncomfortable given that the officer is in a position of power.

    2. hsw says:

      And you’d be fine if he was asking if she’d found Allah, right? This is an abuse of power. There is an intimidation factor at play when anyone has power over you. If you can’t see the problem, then you’re part of the problem.

  10. William Waugh says:

    Has anyone suggested to the officer that perhaps a clerical tunic would fit better than the state uniform?

    1. hsw says:

      Wish we could “like” these comments 🙂 Yes that would definitely be a better fit!

    2. Susan Colmenares says:

      Good point!

    3. Carol says:

      Nice way to spin it. No really I’ve berm trying to find something nice to say and that a nice way to see it.

  11. Rev says:

    Being a Bishop, yes of course I believe that the Word of God should be spread but…. one has to respect the views of everyone else on the planet and so, my personal policy is, if people wish to hear me preach, invite me or come to where I am preaching, if they want to ask me questions, then feel free. As for me forcing my belief’s and personal thoughts on to another? no. God gave us all freedom of choice and it is not up to anyone else to take that away from another which unfortunately, this Officer was doing. No matter what the belief of this lady, she should not have been made to feel intimidated in any way shape or form.

    1. Sheila Morrison says:

      If only more christians felt as you do. There’s a saying, “God, save me from your people.”

  12. Matthew says:

    I’m sorry I think that this is obsued to fire an officer of the state as he not only tries to look after your physical well being but also your spiritual well being.

    To state that officers are not permitted to ask a personal question regarding g a person’s spiritual well being is rediculous. He offered support and a church community. That’s a christian duty as well as a gesture of a good person.

    Your absolutely correct if he had been asking to convert to Islam there would be outrage bit your living in a christian founded country with Christian beliefs and Christian values. To say he shouldn’t ask as a state employee is crazy. He took a vow a pledge as a state officer to uphold the laws and tge constitution. Now I’m not American so my understanding of the constitution is limited but I’m sure it states that the people’s laws and the civilian rights were founded under god. Or words to that effect. Written on the currency she will pay her fine with reads in god we trust. God is sn intrinsic part of the whole American formation and the people’s liberties.

    This man was doing his job above snd beyond. It’s far to easy to gain financially from people fear of saying the wrong thing. What will suing the state gain her apart from money and if this is the person she is. He was right she needs god in her life.

    Just my opinion

    Bless you all

    1. David Griffith says:

      Times change and people have to change with it. This country is now different and there are different religions and th Constituiton allows all those religions to practice freely. When one religion tells the others they cannot, that is not following the Constitution. Christians cannot even agree on things, that is why there are so many different churches within Christianity. They are not one, but many. When they are able to come together in peace and harmony then I will start to believe what they say is true, until then, get your house in order before you start condemning other houses.

    2. hsw says:

      So if he said “Hey after work my satanic cult is going to sacrifice a goat – would you like to come along?” you’d be OK with that, because “To state that officers are not permitted to ask a personal question regarding g a person’s spiritual well being is rediculous.(sic)”

      1. Carol says:

        Oh that is perfect! No they won’t because they have no respect for real freedom… It’s there way or nothing.

        1. Lynne Burroughs says:

          if the satanist said that and she said know i think she would at that point have too much information and be lucky to ever start her car again. a satanist won’t say that to a non-satanic believing person. argument has no merit

          1. captainwolfe says:

            simply put, this officer although in good intention, is not being paid to spread his beliefs and in a position of authority it could be intimidating, In addition he is being paid to enforce traffic laws the time he spends spreading his faith he should be using stopping DUI drivers, speeder, etc.

    3. KJ says:

      Actually, our country was not founded under god, as many of our founding fathers were not Christian. The words “In God We Trust” wasn’t printed on our paper money until the 1950’s, and they added “Under God” to our pledge of allegiance at about the same time. Christianity has been slowly working it’s way into out government over the last century, and I am glad to finally see someone taking action against Christian oppression.

      1. Sheila Morrison says:

        Thank you!

      2. Brother John says:

        Correct KJ… the changes were made as a result of the Red Menace paranoia that was at it’s pinnacle in the 50’s. It was more political than religious. But it’s even possible today to be labeled as a “Pinko” or “Commie” if you contradict fundamental Christianity. I’ve recently been branded a Commie on this site.

  13. cmdsgtmajor says:

    The lady is right to sue in this case. This is America and everyone has the right to worship as they see fit and not to be hassled by religious fanatics, especially in the work place; in this case the traffic stop was the officers work place. It is good that we humans can believe in a higher power, it gives us hope and comfort within ourselves, but you don’t have the right to force your beliefs on someone else.

  14. Rev. Wayne Gibbons says:

    After the resurrection, Jesus went to his disciples and commanded them:
    “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone. Anyone who believes and is baptized will be saved. But anyone who refuses to believe will be condemned.” Jesus did not say “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone. If they do not believe, pound the Good News into them with force and laws made to compel them to believe and submit to the will of my father.”
    People will believe what they wish and reject what they do not like. This is human nature and the effect of “free will”.
    I think Officer Brian Hamilton should re-evaluate his calling of being a police officer and decide if the wants to continue as a policeman or change his profession and become a minister or priest. Perhaps he and the rest of those he encounters would be better served.
    To share my faith with others is rewarding and in concert with the teachings of Jesus. To attempt to force someone to accept my faith or to shame someone into accepting my doctrines, is wrong.
    Free will is a difficult thing to overcome, however, if you are patient and doing God’s will, you may just help someone to find the joy of God’s love and the path back to Him, through Jesus Christ. Simple? No. But then, Jesus did not say it would be easy.
    Just my opinion.

  15. Rev. Phil says:

    I wonder what would have happened if the story was reversed and the woman said to the officer, “Do you feel saved for stopping me?” My guess is that the story never makes the news.

    1. hsw says:

      No reason it should. He’s in a position of power and authority – which he abused – she’s not.

  16. Al says:

    It was appropriate to ask if she knew Jesus and left it at that. It would be reassuring to know that our law enforcement are Christians. If they were perhaps there would be less violence against unarmed citizens and some assurance that all of our lives matter. The officer went too far in giving her information out to others which allowed her to be contacted by strangers. God knows who this lady is and He will lead her through prayer.

    There is an unanswered question in the story. Did the officer proselytize to men too?

    1. hsw says:

      Let’s take a poll of all the officers who have shot and killed unarmed citizens, and see how many of them self-identify as Christians – I’m betting most of them.

      1. captainwolfe says:

        based on what research you did?

  17. Ceadda says:

    History shows us that much Christian conversion happened under threat of harm. Proselytizing with a gun on your hip and a badge or your chest is simply another form of crusade. The trooper’s behavior is intolerable in a free nation.

    1. hsw says:

      Either under threat of harm, or under promise of protection from harm. Either way it’s coercion.

      1. Lynne Burroughs says:

        key comment: “free” nation.

  18. jimgramze says:

    The main dictates of the Christian religion is one of behavior, and of giving unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and giving unto God what is God’s. Often these things are not at all in conflict; one can be kind and charitable, turn the other cheek, return cruelty with kindness, etc., all without offending anyone. To me, behaving in such a manner is in itself spreading the word by example.

    The notion of being “saved” through belief ALONE is a notion inserted into the Bible by Martin Luther because he felt it should be that way — it was not in the original text. Good acts are the modus operandi. The notion that one that is saved will be a good person is utter nonsense. There are good people who are atheists and there are bad people who are true believers. I’ll take those who act well toward others any day.

    1. Lynne Burroughs says:

      but God/Christ won’t.

  19. Kevin Rice says:

    “The Constitution doesn’t allow for the state to have a religious preference.”

    Yes it does. Christianity. America was founded by Christians to be a Christian republic. That officer was doing his duty as commanded by our lord and saviour Jesus Christ. As Christians, we are instructed to witness to sinners and warn them. He did exactly as he was instructed. Don’t compare Christians to Mormons or Jehovah’s witnesses because they are false prophets leading people away from God.

    1. SW says:

      America was founded by Native Americans who were were rapped and murdered by Christians. Those who survived were forced to convert and give up their own religion.
      Things are better for them now but not much better.
      Abuse of powere is rampant in the name of Christianity.
      Loving Christians don’t preach, they lead by caring examples.
      He could have let her go without preaching and therefore showing his Christian love.

      1. Lynne Burroughs says:

        before you go bashing christians for the indian slaughter better do your research. others came here and indians were slaughtering each other and removing scalps long before anyone else got here.

    2. Susan Colmenares says:

      You need a history course. Jefferson wrote much of the constitution and he was a disciple of enlightenment philosophy, not Christianity.

    3. dkstevens327 says:

      Aren’t you lucky to live in a country that allows you to not only believe but state in a public forum that, “Mormons or Jehovah’s witnesses… are false prophets” 😉
      BTW you might want to brush up on youf American history.
      And what happened to Christians being full of love?

    4. Carol says:

      Ops! Kevin self appointed judge and jury would burn me and others the stake.

  20. TJ says:

    As many have said already in this forum… Your religious beliefs are not to be shoved down peoples throats. I believe in God and minister when asked to be minister to a person; however, I don’t go around asking every person I encounter what their religious beliefs are (it is not my place to ask or push my ideals on people). Our actions dictate if a person will approach us, “people are more likely to save a good person than a righteous person”. Don’t present yourself so high that people are turned off by you… you will not reach those that you want to reach but instead turn them away.

    1. hsw says:

      Well said. I’ve always said “Don’t tell me, show me.” I’m much more likely to be attracted to the warmth you radiate, the kind word you speak, the love you show, than your questioning my beliefs and insisting mine should be the same as yours. Don’t tell me. Show me.

      1. captainwolfe says:

        I will sometimes believe what you say, I will always believe what you do!

  21. Brian Bloom says:

    He shouldn’t have had strangers calling her for one thing. Freedom to speak religion, but there is also the freedom of not wanting to hear it. Everyone’s religion and prayer life should be private unless one gives the other the right to share. Id like to know was only stopping women to preach to or men also?

  22. Barbara Fu says:

    There was real harm done, though! Members of Officer Hamilton’s church got contact information for Wendy Pyle and proceeded to use it to pressure her to attend their church. They got this information from Hamilton who used his authority to get it from Pyle. Had he not been a police officer with the power to ticket or arrest her she might have more forcefully declined, but his uniform and badge were an implicit threat. Imagine if he’d been offering sex and not religion and you might see the problem.

    1. Barbara Fu says:

      (checking the notification boxes this time)

  23. Ruth says:

    In this matter I believe the officer did nothing wrong. I would rather an office ask if I’m saved than have them drunk driving and hurting or killing someone because they were drunk or doing other illegal things which has been happening a lot lately in Indiana concerning the police officers. And it shouldn’t be a problem if he wants to share his belief because our president has shared his religious beliefs as a Muslim with the whole world. If our president can share his belief why shouldn’t an officer be able to do the same.

    1. Dudeist Priest says:

      This entire thread has been most entertaining! I just can’t imagine where some of these people get this crap.

      1. hsw says:

        You say “entertaining.” I say “yikes!”

        1. Dudeist Priest says:

          Yeah, I just have to look past the insanity or risk my own. I went to a truck stop a couple weeks ago to watch a Sharks game and was driven away by a trucker from Indiana railing at me as to California being a communist country. Hmmm. He also spouted off some of the same views that came up in this thread. Now I don’t believe for a minute that he was representative of Indianans (Indiana-ites?), anymore than I believe any views expressed here are a representation of any particular segment of the population. At least, I certainly hope that such a combination of illiteracy and lack of education is not a basic tenet of some organized group. The Dude Abides.

  24. Vitki says:

    A couple thoughts….
    1. An American understands the importance of separating church and state. Our government and police forces have been moving towards fascism and militarization. This is the proof. Why would a police officer imagine his job is to engage in conversations of religion, let alone start them. Only a policeman mentally dysfunctional enough to imagine he’s on the streets to save souls instead of protecting the public interests – at the risk of his job – deserves and should be fired. At least until he can prove some elementary understanding of the Constitution. There can’t be any conversation in the Citizen/Police Officer realm promoting mutual respect and peaceful completion that could include such personal communication. He might as well have been flirting and forcing himself sexually on the citizen – its the same. Its the same. Police should always do their jobs without bringing anything personal into the interaction.

    2. As a Minister whose practices are daily and constant, I’m always taken by the behaviors of the spiritually unaware. If people believe they need to defend their own God from all they can imagine in the world that’s bad – I worry about how weak their God is. Creation never needs defending – especially in the public square. I can buy a vacuum cleaner, a cup of coffee, and a doughnut in the public square – and even pay a fine from a police officer. The same public square is no place to be shopping for spiritual awareness and God. Only in America do we imagine a price can be paid, some fine levied, or cashing in the right coupon at the mall will bring God into our hearts. Creation has never ‘Blessed America’ over any other nation – its just national rhetoric.

    1. Dudeist Priest says:

      A very cogent summation! As an atheist (lower case intended) and an aspiring mellow dude ;-), I appreciate and respect your well thought out and evenly expressed POV. Although, I must admit, I do enjoy Kate Smith’s rendition as a piece of music!

      1. Lynne Burroughs says:

        Because he knows the Holy Spirit. Those who follow the Bible can be prompted by the Holy to share with someone. I am thinking he is very Spiritually aware and that’s why he asked. Jesus went to the people, he didn’t wait for them.

        1. Lynne Burroughs says:

          to say asking someone if they are saved and giving directions to a church is the same as rape is irresponsible and uneducated. i find it very insulting toward women and the Christian Faith.

  25. Rupert Morrell. says:

    The State trooper is as a lot of people have already stated is wrong and he paid the price for it. How can we judge another person’s religion or method of doing things. Surely tolerance, respect and love is the only way to go. I respect people of the different faiths and religious teachings. I am of the view that the driver should have given the trooper the amount for the fine and politely said something a long the lines of while I respect that you have your views in that area I would like you to respect mine. Have a good day.

  26. Lynne Burroughs says:

    Clearly the woman is not saved or we would not be reading this and there would be no suit.

  27. XaurreauX says:

    Secularism is for grownups.

  28. Dempsey Guthrie says:

    There is a proper time and place for every situation in life , people need to realize that and act accordingly and respect the rights of others.

    1. Rev. Donna says:

      I totally agree with the above. All people should be respected. The officer was out of line. Forcing one’s beliefs on others is very disrespectful.

  29. forestheathen says:

    For over 18 years I used to be one of those annoying full time door knocking Jehovah Witness ministers. In my heart, I thought I had found the true religion and wanted to share the wonderful information that I had found from studying the Bible. So, I completely understand the enthusiasm that a person can feel when they love “God”. I also understand the zeal one feels when they truly love their fellow man and want to help them find salvation. Funny thing, my thorough Bible reading and studying led me to leave this religion and Christianity. Though I do not claim any religion, my spirituality leans Pagan. Several very close family members of mine are in law enforcement.

    The questions above are:

    Would you feel differently if a cop pulled you over to proselytize to you if he was Christian versus Muslim? No. I think it would be wrong either way. Even as a super enthusiastic JW, I never preached to people while “on the clock” at any job. I would on breaks or during lunch, because that was my time; however, when someone else is paying for my time … essentially, I viewed preaching “on the clock” as stealing from my employer. Any government employee (law enforcement, city work, courthouse, schools, social services, etc.) is “on the clock” while in uniform or performing their job. They have no business getting personal on any subject (outside of common courtesies) not related to the service they are being paid for.

    And if so, should they be treated differently from a legal stance? No.

    Whose freedom of religion is being infringed upon in these circumstances: the cop’s for his being fired, the citizens’ for being pressured to discuss religion with an officer of the state, or the taxpayers’ for having their money spent to promote Christianity regardless of what their beliefs are?

    This officer chose to continue to preach even after previous warnings. I am very sorry he was fired, I have a great deal of respect for the men and women who serve and protect. However, he had no business preaching his religion while wearing his badge. Had it been his one and only time, I would have felt being fired was harsh. However, from the article’s information, it sounds like he had been warned before and he chose to risk his career for his religion. I think suing is going overboard. The lady complained, the officer is fired … why drag this through court? It was annoying … yes. He was wrong to do it … and he paid for it with his job. But people will annoy you in life, impose their opinions on you, waste your time, insult you, and be unfair … such is life. Should we sue them all? As a taxpayer, I know my money is being wasted through other means besides a random Bible preaching law enforcement officer … other people in our government (at various levels) ill use our taxes. This incident would be the least of my worries.

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