EDITOR’S NOTE: Todd Starnes owns one of the top conservative radio stations in the nation. Click here to download his free app so you can listen to conservative news and talk 24-7.
A 19-year-old Georgia police officer was pressured to quit his job after refusing to remove a Facebook post defending biblical marriage.
The former Port Wentworth police officer, Jacob Kersey, joined the Todd Starnes Show to tell the story.
Kersey explained that he made a Facebook post that said, “God designed marriage. Marriage refers to Christ and the church. That’s why there is no such thing as homosexual marriage.”
Following the post, Kersey received a call from his supervisor. He was informed that the post offended a coworker and that it must be removed. When he refused, the department threatened him.
“They said, You can either resign now or we’re going to create a new department policy that if you say anything like this in the future, if it’s not a Bible verse, but if it’s your interpretation or opinion of Scripture, or if you teach scripture and it offends someone, then you’ll be fired for it,” Kersey told national radio host Todd Starnes.
Kersey then resigned from his post, because he did not feel safe engaging in police work if his department did not support him.
Starnes slammed the department’s treatment of Kersey as unconstitutional.
“This is just unbelievable that this went down,” Starnes said. “And it’s sad because ultimately the Constitution protects your right to practice your religion beyond the walls of your home or your church. And the Constitution affords you the right to post whatever you would like to post. And it bothers me that they’re coming after you simply because of your deeply held religious beliefs.”
LISTEN TO THE FULL CONVERSATION HERE:
The following is a rush transcript from the Todd Starnes Show which airs daily from noon to 3:00 p.m. ET.
TODD STARNES: [00:00:00] Now a crazy story has come to my attention involving a young man, 19 years old, worked for a police department in Georgia and was pressured to resign after he had been investigated for posting something on social media defending traditional marriage, marriage between one man and one woman. I want to go to the Patriot Mobile Newsmaker Line. This young man’s going to tell his story to the rest of the nation. Jacob Kersey also has a podcast by the same name. Jacob, good to have you with us today. [00:00:33][33.7]
JACOB KERSEY: [00:00:35] Well, Todd, thanks so much for having me on. And, you know, I’ve been listening to you for years and I’m just in such disbelief that something like this would happen to me, especially here in Georgia. On January 2nd, I posted that God created marriage. Marriage refers to Christ and his bride, the church. And that’s why there’s no such thing as a homosexual marriage. And you’ll find statements just like that all throughout scripture, really. And you’ll find that on Christian websites and statements of beliefs for churches all across the nation. But I was told by my police department that it offended someone that I work with and that I would need to take it down. And when I refused, they basically gave me an ultimatum. They said, You can either resign now or we’re going to create a new department policy that if you say anything like this in the future, if it’s not a Bible verse, but if it’s your interpretation or opinion of Scripture, or if you teach scripture and it offends someone, then you’ll be fired for it. And so I didn’t think it wise to play that game with a police department as dangerous as the job is. So I decided to resign on January 17th. [00:01:43][68.0]
STARNES: [00:01:44] Now, this was the Port Wentworth Police Department, which I understand is outside Savannah. Is that right? [00:01:50][6.1]
KERSEY: [00:01:51] Correct. Yes. It’s a smaller police department right outside Savannah. And you would think that, you know, a police department like that would not pull something like this. You might expect this out of, you know, a big, big city like New York, but not out of a small city in Georgia. So it’s kind of unbelievable. [00:02:08][16.9]
STARNES: [00:02:09] Now, this is exactly what you wrote, word for word that caused all the trouble. You wrote, “God designed marriage. Marriage refers to Christ and the church. That’s why there is no such thing as homosexual marriage.” Look, it. It doesn’t matter if, you know, how you feel. This is your opinion here. And I see nothing offensive by what you wrote. I mean, this is a belief of just about every Protestant church and Catholic church in America, if not the world. [00:02:37][28.4]
KERSEY: [00:02:39] Absolutely. And, you know, I have to ask the question, are police officers allowed to be religious? Are they allowed to be Christian? Because if you are a Christian, then the scripture is very clear that that is God’s design for marriage, that it is supposed to be between a man and a woman because it mirrors it reflects Christ and his love for his bride, the church. And if you have a distorted view of marriage, then you’re going to have a distorted view of the entire gospel. [00:03:09][29.5]
STARNES: [00:03:10] So Jacob, you write this. And I understand you got a phone call, what, the next day from a supervisor. [00:03:15][5.2]
KERSEY: [00:03:17] Correct. Yes. My supervisor called me the next day. He said, you’re going to need to remove the post that offended someone. And there’s separation of church and state, so you can’t post anything like that, which I must add is a terrible misunderstanding and ignorance of what that phrase actually means and where it comes from. But I was pressured to remove it and they brought me in to a meeting on January 4th this year. I mean, my police chief, what you read, he said that that was the same thing as me using the N-word. So he equated me to the most horrific kind of racist that there is, which I think is absolutely despicable that anything like that would be said. [00:03:57][40.0]
STARNES: [00:03:58] And it’s simply not true. This, again, is a deeply held religious belief by just about every major denomination in the world. I’m curious, though, Jacob, what about during the Gay Pride month, they had the month of June, People flying the flags, does the department celebrate that? Anybody in the department posting those kinds of messages or the rainbow flag on their pages? [00:04:21][22.6]
KERSEY: [00:04:22] Well, the police department specifically doesn’t participate in any gay pride parades. But, I mean, if you look around, there are police departments all over the nation, officers in uniform, in patrol cars and on social media who post, you know, about their participation in gay pride, which I would say is anti-Christian. It’s against scripture. [00:04:43][21.0]
STARNES: [00:04:45] But it’s their right. [00:04:45][0.6]
KERSEY: [00:04:46] Yeah, but Christians aren’t calling for those officers to be fired or removed from their job. But if a Christian, when they’re off duty like I was, I wasn’t on duty, not in uniform on my own personal Facebook page posted something like this. I’m forced basically forced to resign for something like this. [00:05:03][17.7]
STARNES: [00:05:04] And take me through that because, again, I always encourage people, you fight the good fight if they fire you at that point, I think you have solid legal standing to take action. Why did you feel the need to resign? [00:05:15][10.5]
KERSEY: [00:05:17] Well, you know, law enforcement is an extremely dangerous job. And they were telling me that I wasn’t fired, that they wanted to bring me back to work, but that if I posted anything like that again in the future, if someone complained, then I would get fired for it. So I would had to have went back to work, posted something like that again, waited to get fired and go through the process all over again. And when I’m supposed to be responding to calls and taking care of the citizens of Port Wentworth. I just didn’t think it was very wise to be trying to do that and play this game with my police department when they didn’t have my back. [00:05:49][31.7]
STARNES: [00:05:50] This is just unbelievable that this went down. And it’s sad because ultimately the Constitution protects your right to practice your religion beyond the walls of your home or your church. And the Constitution affords you the right to post whatever you would like to post. And it bothers me that they’re coming after you simply because of your deeply held religious beliefs. [00:06:14][24.6]
KERSEY: [00:06:16] Right? Well, they came after me. You know, a young man in a small town in Georgia. So, I mean, I’m sure they’re going to keep coming after people. And my story is not going to be unique. And, you know, people have messaged me, Todd, and asked me what happened to the First Amendment. I’ll tell you what happened to the First Amendment, people just don’t stand up for their rights. They don’t stand up. You know, we the people have to fight for that document. The document won’t fight for itself. And that’s one of the reasons why I’m telling this story. [00:06:43][26.4]
STARNES: [00:06:43] Well, I’m glad you’re doing it. And so, Jacob, I know you’ve got the podcast. Where can people go if they want to listen to the podcast? [00:06:50][7.0]
KERSEY: [00:06:52] Well, if you want to keep up with the story and follow what we’re doing, I’m @RealJacobKersey across social media platforms and my podcast is called the Jacob Kersey Program, and that’s available wherever you get podcasts, whether it’s on Spotify, iHeartRadio, YouTube, Apple Podcasts, you name it. [00:07:08][15.7]
STARNES: [00:07:09] All right, good stuff. Will Jacob, You keep us updated. And I have to imagine one of the religious liberty law firms is going to be all over this story. Certainly sounds like they did you wrong. And let’s just hope that good is able to come out of all of this. [00:07:23][13.9]
KERSEY: [00:07:24] Well, thank you, Todd. Yeah, we’re currently talking about some legal options, but I appreciate the time to come on today. [00:07:30][5.4]
STARNES: [00:07:30] All right. You heard it. Ladies and gentlemen, a pretty despicable story coming out of Georgia. Jacob Kersey, 19 years old, a police officer resigning under pressure simply because he posted something about supporting the biblical definition of marriage. Jacob, God bless you and thank you. [00:07:30][0.0]