What Will A Faith-Based Sheriff’s Office Be Like???

By Loudoun Insider

For all the talk about Sharia law lately, the only Loudoun candidate to be wearing his religion on his sleeve is Sheriff’s candidate Verne Dickerson.  At this week’s LCRC meeting he said “I will run the Sheriff’s office based on faith”.  Just what exactly does that mean?  Since he makes it very obvious that he is very Christian, how will this affect non-Christians in the Department?  Will he enforce laws on the books that he considers to be non-Christian?  How will he handle crimes against homosexuals or those of other religions?  Will deputies be given religious instruction and directions?  How soon before the Justice Department comes a knocking?


  • Newbie says:

    I also don’t understand his focus on another candidate that got out of the constest. Is he suggesting a co-Sheriffship, what ever that is? I don’t see this candidate as someone I’d want to vote for.

  • cop4ever says:

    In my 30 plus years of LE, this is a first-running a LE operation based on faith-how about some grit, brawn and RECENT experience. LE is not for choir boys. Nothing wrong with having strong faith, but when the guys start throwing the f-bombs you can’t dish out discipline. My feeling is Mark Davis will run the department(Verne still hasn’t stated his role) and Verne will be a figurehead.

  • Between the I am a better Christian than you, and what seemed like political bribery to get a candidate out of the race, his speech at the LCRC did not inspire me to vote for him.

  • Loudoun Insider says:

    Dickerson’s two main campaign themes – (thanks for this one, Willie) “I’m a better Christian than you” and “the two headed Sheriff” don’t seem to be going over so well, do they? It looks like a floundering campaign in search of its reason for being on its last legs.

  • Jonathan says:


    I had a very nice discussion with an active LCRC member and PHC graduate over the book:

    Will the Real Jesus Please Stand Up

    It became apparent that different people can self-identify as “Christian” and maintain non-overlapping or barely overlapping theologies, ideologies, world views, etc.

    During this election season, it will be very important for citizens to reject platitudes and to demand that candidates explain themselves.

    As for Mr. Dickerson’s public pronouncements, I’d refer him to Matt 6:5-6

    Matthew 6:5-6: “And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men….when thou prayest, enter into thy closet and when thou has shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret….”

  • LloydTheIdiot says:

    What does Dickerson’s focus on Christianity mean for non-Christian officers, suspects or victims? Can you imagine if a Jewish or Hindu candidate made the same “faith based” pledge that Dickerson did?

  • Barbara Munsey says:

    Jonathan, interesting set of ideas.

    Something which resonates right upfront, without meandering down the path of your opinions on Christianity or literature, is your citing of Matthew on prayer.

    I tend to believe it isn’t only applicable to any conversation an individual chooses to hold with God, but to any personal display of what someone has chosen to practice as their religion.

    I.e. I often think it would be nice to NOT be lectured on vegetables or the proper means to carry them home from whatever market one chooses to patronize by those who preach organics, a foodshed, and recycling.

    But that is just one small example of public religious behavior by some, that can also edge its way into politics.

  • David says:

    The comparison with Sharia law is apt. Someone just told me of a situation in another jurisdiction, in which the Sheriff was forced to resign because “his faith wouldn’t allow him to provide police protection to a reproductive services clinic.” Great – the Special Rights crowd wanted exemptions from the job requirements for health care and pharmacy workers, next they’ll want them for law enforcement too.

    I don’t know what the process was for forcing this person to resign, but we can be sure that whatever it was, the taxpayers got the bill.

  • Quilter in the woods says:

    Was any of you all actually at that meeting? I was right down in front. Verne Dickerson never said he’d run the sheriff office based on his faith, he said he ran his life based on his faith, not the sheriffs office. He said he would appoint Mark Davis to be one of his close deputies because of all Mark’s local experience. All sheriffs appoint their own top deputies. He will too. Nothing new to that. None of you all were there, or you would have heard all that. Do you all just like making up crap that never happened?

    This blog has totally gone to the dogs.

  • Jonathan says:

    The more I think about this, the more concerned I am. The “thought control”, frequently used by a certain supervisor comes to mind. With a social conservative House of Delegates and activist AG, the last thing Loudoun needs is a “faith-based” Sheriff. I can think of a few examples:

    1. VA passes a law stating that a declaration by a same-sex couple that they are married violates the “qualities, significance and effects of marriage” clause of the VA Constitution and is a civil offense. The Sheriff would dispatch deputies to arrest gay couples across the county.

    2. The sheriff’s department can simply obstruct gay people’s civil rights by refusing to listen to claims of discrimination, abuse of molestation. Bull Connor demonstrated the effects of this behavior.

    3. The department can interfere with emergency services. For example, my mobile phone lists David as my “In Case of Emergency” (ICE) point of contact. The Sheriff can issue an order to ignore same-sex partner ICE information.

    4. The Sheriff instructs deputies that “wives are to submit to their husbands”. Domestic violence is tacitly condoned by the department.

    5. People who appear to be non-christian are harassed and ignored by the department.

    6. Indigenous people fleeing persecution in their homelands are denied any consideration for asylum because they are considered to be “possessed by demons”.

    The sixth point is related to a story promulgated by the “intercessionary” “faith-based” government group being promoted in Mark Gunderman’s “Community of Faith” blog on the Loudoun Times Mirror.

    I’m sure there are more examples of the dangers. It would be helpful to compile a more complete list.

  • Quilter, I was there as was the author. My recollection of Verne’s statements differs from yours. I recall specifically him stating specifically that his faith set him apart from other candidates.

    Obviously, then, he is using his faith as a “selling point” with voters. A candidate’s faith, whether demonstrated as a positive or a negative, should not be a relevant consideration. The focus must be on the candidate’s qualifications and positions on the issues. If a candidate’s position on an issue is informed by his religious beliefs, again, that’s fine with me. However, in the political arena, the focus should be the candidate’s positions, not the book he reads from.

  • “He said he would appoint Mark Davis to be one of his close deputies because of all Mark’s local experience. All sheriffs appoint their own top deputies. He will too. Nothing new to that.”

    If you mean bribery is nothing new, then I agree. However, it is highly unusual for a candidate, particularly in a local election, to promise employment in return for political support.

  • Barbara Munsey says:

    Jonathan, maybe it would be better if we followed the example of “addressing bullying”, and treated everything from a gay perspective to make sure there was no discrimination or maltreatment occurring, in any day-to-day action on any issue in public safety, no matter who is eventually elected sheriff.

    Do the Dems even have a candidate yet, or is the office merely another opportunity for a Delgaudio conflation vehicle?

    Seriously, is there anyone you support for the office? Maybe you should run?

  • Quilter in the woods says:

    Yeh, them Christian folks are dang scary people. No telling what they might do. ha!

    Didn’t everyone know that Sheriff’s hire their own deputies? It ain’t a bribe to hire someone he thinks is the best. Mark has 20 years experience in Loudoun cop world. Who better to have for his right hand man? How’s that a bribe? Y’ll are crazy.

    Do you ever talk about democrats and liberals here, like Too Conservative used to? Or is this place just for trashing republicans now? I notice your comments are lots of democrats too. What the heck happened to this place? I knew there was a reason I stopped coming here.

  • Loudoun Insider says:

    What a load of crap, Quilter. Dickerson indeed did say he would run the Department based on faith. I heard it and if you were there you heard it to. Once again those throwing around the allegations of lying are the liars themselves.

    I think Dickerson needs to explain exactly what his statement means.

  • David says:

    “If a candidate’s position on an issue is informed by his religious beliefs, again, that’s fine with me.” Yes – and I would go so far as to say that it’s not a matter of “if.” Everyone’s position on issues is informed by what they believe, isn’t it?

    There might be a tendency to gloss over instances where someone’s beliefs are in conflict with the requirements of their job, to want to compartmentalize religious belief as “personal” and separate from public service. What I have heard Mr. Dickerson say with great clarity to the NAACP is that he puts his faith “before everything else” in his life, that there is no compartmentalization possible. He will not put civil concerns above his faith. If his beliefs are in any way in conflict with civil law, it’s not reasonable to expect him to leave them at the door. That’s what I have understood him to be saying, and this is consistent with the notion of “running the Sheriff’s office based on his faith.” If his faith is genuine, and he is telling the truth about its importance, how could he not? It would be a matter of conscience.

    The solution to such conflict is not to demand that such a person disregard their beliefs, it’s for such a person to not be in that situation. If your faith doesn’t allow you to dispense contraceptives or hormone replacement prescriptions, that’s fine – but you shouldn’t choose to be a pharmacist. If your faith doesn’t allow you to enforce the law (as in the real-life example I shared above), you shouldn’t choose to be in law enforcement. That’s a reasonable, common sense position that allows room for everyone in a free society.

    We only know a few details so far about what Mr. Dickerson means when he refers to his faith or his beliefs. We can’t assume that what he means is the same thing you or I would mean by those words. Once a candidate for public office has said that he won’t put anything above his faith, we have the right to know exactly what that might look like in practice, and if it might require his resignation somewhere down the line.

  • LloydTheIdiot says:

    Quilter, it is a bribe, in my opinion, to offer a position in an administration in return for the other candidate pulling out of the race.

    As for the political spectrum of thought, yeah, we get comments from the Democrats. Republicans and Independents alike – like we always have had and like I hope we always will have. Sure beats the echo chamber of those party-line blogs.

  • Loudoun Insider says:

    Quilter doesn’t like dissent or contrary opinion – looks like another sheeple.

  • edmundburkenator says:

    Quilter doesn’t appreciate the many pieces of fabric that make up the political bed-covering of Loudoun.

  • Loudoun Insider says:

    Somehow I am not surprised that Quilter in the Woods last commented (before the couple recent ones) on my HCA Broadlands post.

  • Anonymous says:

    If you are concerned about theoretical civil rights abuse in the Sheriff’s office you should look up the lawsuit against Simpson for actual discrimination filed in Federal district court last week.

    It alleges that Simpson knowingly and purposefully continued a pattern of sex discrimination even after being advised by the DOJ that the discrimination was illegal.

    You do not want a replacement that invites even more legal problems.

  • Loudoun Insider says:

    Sounds like something for the paid press to look into. If you have any documents ot share, send me an email. Somehow I am not surprised that Simpson would have those troubles. And if DOJ is interested in LCSO already, then they will surely have their eyes and ears way open if the faith-based Sheriff got elected (which isn’t going to happen).

  • LloydTheIdiot says:

    The case against Simpson is brought by Ed Myers, who’s previously filed several meritless complaints against Loudoun County. In the latest, he claims his civil rights were violated because, as a man, he was not allowed to attend a women’s self-defense class offered by the sheriff’s office.

  • G.Stone says:

    This has to be the dumbest conversation on this site in some time.

  • Loudoun Insider says:

    Since Verne seems to be handing out jobs already, have you been offered one yet, Stone?

    Not sure how all these job promises fit in with the faith-based Sheriff’s office theme, but it is absolutely a topic worth discussing before a candidate is selected.

  • David says:

    Lloyd, *that’s* the pending “civil rights case” against the Sheriff’s office? You have got to be kidding me. Dickerson is actually referring to this in his stump speech (at least with certain audiences) as if it’s a real civi rights complaint. I have the feeling that stunt is going to backfire badly.

  • LloydTheIdiot says:

    David, there are others that were filed against Simpson, but not “recently.” There is another, older racial discrimination case against Simpson and others that was recently thrown out.

  • Leej says:

    Stone you think this is a dumb thread???????? Pleaseeeee the one thing I like about this site and LI. LI tells it the way it is not matter what party. We get the truth here not some party dribble. Religion has no place in politics as well as telling people how to live. And who they should live with. And most of you all know what I mean with that statement. And the R’s will get slaughtered in this next election from what I see the people they are running. You would think they would learn from the last election. Noooooo the R’s are not learning. And going after LI is interesting. Because why waste your time going after LI if he was not making sense. LI telling the way it is seems to be a huge threat in the local Republican party. It is almost comical 🙂 Hoe the R’s are reacting. 😉

  • RWN says:

    Lee – with all due respect, you are applying broad generalizations to all R’s when you cannot validate what you are saying. Most R’s that I know consider as threats the Democratic agenda that Obama has and is trying to ram through, the assualt on personal property rights the Democratic Board of Supervisers failed miserably at trying to ram through and the Democratic Party’s philosophy that the Government can spend its way to prosperity. Those are real threats and the focus of the Republican Party at all levels is to defeat those threats and offer a vision of liberty for all, fiscal prudence, and limited government. What’s comical is thinking all R’s perceive LI as a threat.

  • David says:

    Lloyd – he was addressing the NAACP, and would assume everyone there was aware of older cases. He made a point of saying that this is a new one, and strongly implied that it was a kind of violation of civil rights that he wouldn’t tolerate. Seems like dissembling to me.

  • Leej says:

    RWN what is the most prosperous area in the USA????? DC area of course. Where is the money coming from??/?? The USA tax payer of course. RWN what is good for DC area is NOT good for the USA. So I hope you are right and the R’s can slash government. What I hear way too much since 911 it seems every government worker is here to protect us. It is the new buzz phrase to protect their over priced jobs. “”””You don’t know what I do, but I am here to protect you 😉

    Job security paid by the average taxpayer who makes far less then the average government worker. Not good for our children and grandchildren.

  • Deborah says:

    A friend who had run into some problems from a congregational member in the Loudoun county area was assigned a public defender. When it was told to the public defender that the person followed the laws of G-d and would not do anything to come into contension with G-d… the public defender said… G-d is not here… so although there is one person who may have a Christian faith… there are probably many within the Loudoun goverment that have none. I would not worry about it………….

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