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It’s a Druid Thing? Nope, it’s an ACLU Thing…

About three weeks ago, I wrote a post regarding a couple who were pulled over for traffic violations and had a bumper sticker "It’s a Druid Thing" on their vehicle.  The couple claimed they were only pulled over because of this bumper sticker, seeming to leave out the part about all of their violations.  The ACLU took up their cause and demanded an apology. 

Recently, a police officer involved in the traffic stop left the following comment on my blog:

"I am the Police officer that was involved in the traffic stop. For almost three months I have been silent. I have noticed that the internet has mostly slammed me.

Most of the sites and chat rooms are not interested in the total story, just the lies told so far.

I am ashamed that so many people will listen to the loudest voice regardless of what is being said.

Most recently the ACLU called me a stalker and asked the Greer Police department to issue a restraining order against me.

To view more of these details, visit my churces website and look at the MLB in the news link.

There have been a lot of Christian support and I am very thankful for websites like yours. You are however in the minority as most sites side with the ACLU.

Ex-Officer - Tony Stewart

Tony Stewart was a reserve officer for the Greer, S.C. police department for 14 years when this event unfolded.  When the couple’s allegations came forward, officer Stewart was placed on administrative leave while an internal investigation took place, and was cleared, with the issues that this couple brought forward unsubstantiated - well, by the internal investigation team anyway.  Enter the ACLU, coming to the defense of these troubled and picked on people.

Now, Officer Stewart, as a reserve officer, did not issue tickets (he never drove a cruiser or wrote tickets during his time of service).  The actual traffic stop and citation(s) were not initiated by Officer Stewart.  However, he has faced a mountain of accusations - one of them being stalking - from any number of websites, news bureaus and, of course, the ACLU.  Around the time this issue was escalating, the four reserve officer positions, including Stewarts, were cut and he was without a job.  The timing seems very interesting to me, but here is what Tony says about it:

The motives for the Gaineys to make charges against me were two fold. One of those was to make enough noise so as to force the police department to drop their charges. The dismissal of all four of the reserve officers due to budgetary reasons came at an unfortunate time, which may have looked suspicious to some. I can only say that I hope a creative approach to solving their budget problems will one day allow them to reinitiate this program, as it was a resource that helped the other officers do their jobs more safely. I doubt that I would ever be asked to return, but I have no hard feelings. I enjoyed serving the people of Greer.

With all he’s been through, he is most gracious, isn’t he?

I encourage you to go see Tony’s comments on his church’s website.  There is a lot he can’t disclose or discuss due to the pending legal matters surrounding the case, but on the flip side, he does give you some perspective of what happened and what he is going through.

One particular item in Tony’s comments caught my attention:

As a Christian and a volunteer police officer, I constantly desired to help people. That night I heard a cry for mercy from a lady who told of hard times and living on food stamps. I heard that the trip to Walmart to get needed groceries was unfairly interrupted by the arrest of her husband. And the towing of a car that could not be legally driven without insurance or tags would add further burdens to a family she described as without hope. I heard that some of the groceries would spoil and that they had no money to replace them.

This was the chance that I prayed for.  I responded by asking her if I could mail her a letter about a bible study and Mt. Lebanon Baptist church where I told her the search for answers to the questions she asked could begin.  I wanted her to meet my Pastor Mark Smith who god used every day to show people the way to better days.  I wanted her to know what the support of a church family like mine would do for her.  Before we parted I resented her with $40 dollars to help with the spoiled groceries.

Why did that catch my eye?  Well, my initial throught was that an officer should not be witnessing to a person while on the job.  Not so much the church versus state idea, but more along the lines of keeping it "about the job."  I truly believe his intentions were good.  Do I think he should defer from witnessing about his faith while on the job?  Perhaps.  Do I think that his witnessing in the case of this couple had a direct impact on the officer’s descretion in handling the situation from a law enforcement perspective?  Absolutely not.  The driver was driving with a suspended license, had no insurance and other such significant violations warranting the traffic stop.  The sole reason for the traffic stop was related to their violations, NOT whether they were druid, blue with stripes, orange with dots, Catholic, etc.  Hence, the danger of the ACLU. They don’t use common sense and rational thought, while looking at the big picture. If there had been any evidence tying the traffic stop merely to the bumper sticker, I wouldn’t be writing about this.

…and what of Ex-Officer Tony Stewart? He has many opportunities coming his way such as public speaking opportunities and because of his faith, Mr. Stewart sees the blessings in this course of his life.

Mr. Stewart, best of luck to you in your endeavors. Hold onto your positive outlook and you will get through this trying time and it will have made you stronger. The ACLU doesn’t win them all - I don’t think this will be in the “winner’s” bracket for them, either.

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Jay said:

he sent me an email too, and thank us. Thank you Merri. I posted on this the other day. Great job.

NIF said:

Labor Day Weekend

Today's dose of NIF - News, Interesting & Funny ... Labor Day Weekend, and continued prayers for the victims of Katrina

LOL Liked the way you lumped Catholic in there with orange polka dotted and blue stripes. LOL Oh, what is a druid anyway?

I am impressed, excellent post. Great job. Thanks.

Merri said:

According to the dictionary, Druid = "A member of an order of priests in ancient Gaul and Britain who appear in Welsh and Irish legend as prophets and sorcerers."