A Louisiana man is garnering national headlines for battling the federal government over the use of prayer in youth meetings.

Julian Whittington, the sheriff of Bossier Parish, was recently asked by the Department of Justice of Civil Rights to sign a pledge to ban prayer during two local youth group meetings he runs, the Young Marines and youth diversion. Both youth programs are aimed are troubled teams and both featured voluntary prayer.

In an interview with Fox News, Whittington describe his encounter with the DOJ,

We were informed that these are unacceptable, inherently religious activities and the Department of Justice would not be able to fund the programs if it continued. They wanted a letter from me stating that I would no longer have voluntary prayer and I would also have to remove ‘God’ from the Young Marine’s oath.


I flat said, ‘It’s not going to happen,’ Enough is enough. This is the United States of America – and the idea that the mere mention of God or voluntary prayer is prohibited is ridiculous. - Julian Whittington

When Whittington refused to ban prayer at the meetings the DOJ removed $30,000 in federal funding from the programs.

The outraged Sheriff then sent a letter to Bobby Jindal in hopes that the Louisiana governor could somehow aide in his situation, though Whittington maintains his main problem is not the money.

The money is not the issue. It’s the principle of the matter. What is going on here? Who is dictating what can or can’t be said in Bossier Parish?

Governor Jindal has not yet responded to Whittington's letter.

[Todd Starnes, Fox News]