The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Opinion

August 5, 2012

ELECTION LETTERS: Jasper County Sheriff Archie Dunn affirms his Christianity

I’ve been hearing rumors that I am not a Christian or hold to Christian beliefs. That is far from the truth. I am a Christian. I was raised in a Pentecostal Church in Carthage and gave my life to God at an early age. I raised my three sons in church.

My spiritual beliefs serve me well in my capacity as your sheriff. I am a man of faith and prayer. I have a relationship with Jesus Christ that is extremely important and personal to me. I pray daily about the office of sheriff, the citizens I protect, my employees, our military men and women and those in need of a healing touch from God. I use the Lord’s guidance to do my job and stand up for what is right, regardless of whether that hurts my public reputation or political career.

As the sheriff of Jasper County, I am sworn to uphold the Constitution of the United States, which includes the First Amendment. There are many people in this county with beliefs different from my own and yours. It’s my sworn duty to treat everyone equally, to not discriminate against anyone for their religious beliefs and to protect them from discrimination.

Because I serve so many citizens and employees with differing beliefs, it’s inappropriate for me to advertise or force any particular religion upon others. This policy also protects my deputies from being accused of discrimination based on religious beliefs.

When I became your sheriff, I formalized a program that designated officers as chaplains within the Sheriff’s Office. Their council has been very invaluable to me, my deputies and citizens during times of need or tragedy. I have also urged the use of prayer during sheriff’s office functions and meetings when appropriate.

I do not flaunt my religious views or force them upon others, nor do I use any religious affiliations as a means to further my political career or to win votes. These values are important to me and have an important place in my life and my career.

“Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s.” — Matthew 22:21

Archie Dunn

Carthage

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