Mayor Scharfenberger: ACLU criticism of Middletown pro-law enforcement rally is absurd


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Middletown Mayor Gerry Scharfenberger, Phd, said that the ACLU’s objection to the ceremony at Middletown High School South last week honoring law enforcement, fire, first aid and military personnel is “absurd” and inconsistent with the organizations mission of protecting free speech.

“The citizens of Middletown, Toms River and beyond gathered on Friday night and proudly expressed their support for the men and women of law enforcement and the military who routinely risk their lives to protect the right of free expression, even of speech that they personally abhor,” said Scharfenberger. “The ACLU’s objections to the peaceful demonstration of support for our men and women in uniform is ridiculous and absurd, however it is their right to express their thoughts just as it is for the thousands of people Friday night to express their gratitude and love of their country.  The spontaneous chant of USA erupting from the crowd and the spirit in the air emanating from the crowd of all races, ages and ethnicities was something none of us will ever forget.  I was honored and humbled to be a part of this magnificent salute to the brave men and women in uniform and thank God everyday for their service to our community and our country.

The “Salute the USA” event was held on Friday prior to the Middletown South-Toms River North High School football game.  It included over 100 uniformed personnel including two police officers who were shot last month during the arrest of the alleged terrorist who set off bombs in Seaside Park and New York City.

Middletown Deputy Police Chief Stephen Dollinger told The Asbury Park Press that the event was a response to professional athletes who have refused to stand during the National Anthem during the beginning ceremonies of sporting events. “It’s OK to stand up for social justice, inequality and reform,” Dollinger said. “It’s another thing to not stand up for the national anthem.”

The North Jersey Chapter of the ACLU, the Central Jersey Chapter of National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives and the Greater Long Brach NAACP said that the ceremony and Dollinger’s comment send “a frightening message.”

What’s really frightening is that ACLU spokesperson Dianna Houenou has a law degree.
Posted: October 24th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Gerry Scharfenberger, Middletown, Monmouth County News | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

6 Comments on “Mayor Scharfenberger: ACLU criticism of Middletown pro-law enforcement rally is absurd”

  1. Tom Stokes said at 12:36 pm on October 24th, 2016:

    Mayor Scharfenberger is being extremely polite in calling the ACLU’s objection absurd.

    Frankly, as one who has worn the uniform of our Armed Forces, I would probably refer to the ACLU in stronger terms. The ACLU seems not to believe that all people have the right to free speech, only those who denigrate our country seem to have that right.

    All have the right to free speech, including the absolute right to disagree with the ACLU.

    Civil Liberties Union? I think not. They seem to be more of a fascist suppression of free speech. The right to disagree (hopefully in an appropriate manner) is a fundamental right enshrined in our Constitutional Republic.

    Apparently the thin blue line which, while not always perfect, protects civilized society from lawless anarchy is to be constantly maligned and spat upon by the ACLU and its minions.

    The far left has destroyed the ability to honestly discuss issues and come to resolution of problems with their advocacy of absolute anarchy and hateful rhetoric.

    America deserves better.

    Kudos to High School South for sponsoring the ceremony to honor all first responders (Fire, Police, First Aid, Emergency Management and all members of our Military). Those who put their lives on the line to protect our country, our communities and our families deserve respect and a Thank You!

    God Bless America!

  2. This is how said at 7:14 pm on October 24th, 2016:

    upside- down and screwed up our general country morale has become under too many liberals. Folks, either we are going to be respectful, productive citizens, or we will continue this downhill slide into the oblivion of a third- world, lawless,borderless hell- hole! Wake up, suck it up, and vote Trump and down ballot to bring back some decency, rules, and respect for this flag and our country!

  3. JC said at 11:32 pm on October 24th, 2016:

    Was this an event to honor all law enforcement officers, or specifically Middletown officers?

    I do have the highest respect for our military, but will reserve comment on MTPD believe involving the ACLU is grandstanding.

  4. Mike Harmon said at 1:19 pm on October 25th, 2016:

    Thank you Middletown Mayor Gerry Scharfenberger !
    Honoring our firemen, first aid, police and military is offensive to the ACLU? A crowd chanting USA USA is troubling?
    Next time there is a suspicious character lurking in the neighborhood, don’t call the cops, call the ACLU!
    House on fire or grandpa is having a heart attack, don’t call the volunteer Fire Departments or First Aid, call the ACLU!

  5. Maureen Marcil said at 4:12 am on October 26th, 2016:


  6. Steve Adams said at 9:08 am on October 26th, 2016:

    For decades I’ve wondered what the ACLU stood for. I still have no idea.

    They do create discussion about the topics and policies they protest. In this case, and in most cases, I think they get people to think, and thinking people usually end up supporting whatever the ACLU is protesting.