Tennessee sheriff to pay $41k to atheist group

Aug 20, 2016

By Stacey Barchenger and Holly Meyer

Bradley County has agreed to pay $41,000 to settle a federal lawsuit filed by a national atheist organization over a religious Easter message posted to an official Facebook page for the Bradley County Sheriff’s Office.

American Atheists announced Thursday they had reached a settlement with the East Tennessee county and sheriff’s office. Amanda Knief, the national legal and public policy director for American Atheists, called the settlement a “clear win” for the two anonymous local plaintiffs in a statement and was pleased the sheriff agreed not to promote religion on the official social media account.

“What is unfortunate, is that it took a lawsuit and more than $40,000 in taxpayer money for the county and sheriff to put this common sense policy in place,” Knief said.

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10 comments on “Tennessee sheriff to pay $41k to atheist group

  • Roedy #1
    Aug 21, 2016 at 12:16 am

    I would expected a cease and desist order, but not $40K damages. How did the plaintiffs argue damages?

    Courts have been known to award punitive damages where one party wilfully denies and refuses to follow the law, so wasting the court’s time with open and shut cases they cannot win, or acting against the public interest.

    This was also an out-of-court settlement, to avoid having a very embarrassing court judgement against the Sheriff’s Office.

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  • Sheriff Eric Watson

    “Just a good ol’ boy, never meaning no harm…”, lol. Being elected sheriff can be heady stuff for some.

    $40K would’ve bought a lot of Vernal Equinox candy to celebrate Peter Rabbit dying for our sins.

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  • Just signed up to this worthy platform and copped for the Story about the Easter Bunny Sherrif and his having to shell out $40’000 . Incredible that a public officer ,in this day and age , cannot keep his personal beliefs out of the public arena but more so, that he doesn’t realise the country he lives and serves in was founded on just that !!!
    Great that the people commenting are from the rebellious colony and long may they stir the simmering pot of consciousness !

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  • 8
    Pinball1970 says:


    Plenty of items like this Paddy

    Religious Organizations promoting, forcing, bullying and proselytizing their outdated, superstitious nonsense onto communities into schools and into government.

    Often against the curriculum, sometimes against the law and occasionally unconstitutional.

    Always immoral.

    Get involved sir!

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  • Religious Organizations promoting, forcing, bullying and proselytizing their outdated, superstitious nonsense onto communities into schools and into government.

    Aye, Britain won’t be free until we can get those daft Bishop’s and assorted religious looney toons out of the house of Lords!

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  • 10
    Pinball1970 says:

    @9 M27
    26 pointless bishops currently, “lords spiritual” they call them.
    If those bishops were joined by imams I would be more concerned.
    More concerning still would be more muslim MPs.
    We have seen the sort of things that can happen areas with many muslim councillors in places like Rochdale and Birmingham with grooming and the Trojan horse scandal.
    Islamic leaders falling over themselves to say these things are nothing to do with the Islamic community and the reports were exaggerated and just more examples of Islamophobia.
    A lot easier to do, hide and defend if you have a political hierarchy watching your back.
    I have said many times on here that the main threat to Europe from Islam is not terror, it is the distortion of young minds in these communities including its schools.

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