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The Devil Is at Work in Opp, Alabama, Police Say

Police blame an uptick in homicides on embracing Satan
By Luke Roney,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 20, 2018 4:48 PM CST
The gift shop at the international headquarters of the Satanic Temple in Salem, Mass.   (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

(Newser) – Taking a page (or several) from the Old Testament, a police department in rural Alabama is blaming an increase in local discord—namely five homicides this year—on the community’s rejection of God, the Hill reports. In a Tuesday Facebook post (since deleted), the Opp Police Department wrote in all-caps, per the AP: "THESE MURDERS HAVE BEEN DONE BY OUR YOUNG PEOPLE. THIS IS HAPPENING BECAUSE WE HAVE TURNED AWAY FROM GOD AND EMBRACED SATAN. WE MAY HAVE NOT MEANT TO DO SO BUT, WE HAVE. IT IS TIME TO ASK FOR GOD'S HELP TO STOP THIS.” The post, which you can see here, goes on to chastise parents and imply that the community does not support police, ending with: “BOTTOM LINE, THERE ARE SHEEP; THERE ARE WOLVES AND THERE ARE SHEEP DOGS. WHICH GROUP DO YOU BELONG TO?”

Some people on social media are having some fun with the whole thing. A Thursday post by the department warning of wet roads garnered comments like, “Satan’s fault.” On an earlier post about an approaching storm, a person commented, “Cloudy, with a higher than average chance of brimstone.” But the group Freedom From Religion says that the police department’s post isn’t funny at all. "The department has very directly endorsed one religious ideology to the exclusion of minority religions and atheism, and decried Satanism. Neither message is permissible," Sam Grover, a lawyer for the group, says in a statement. (Satan made an appearance at the Illinois statehouse.)

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