SHELBY TOWNSHIP (WWJ) – A local politician is being bashed on social media over a prayer he posted on his Facebook page for the victims of the Brussel’s terror attack.
Shelby Township Supervisor Rick Stathakis says he’s surprised that he’s being accused of imposing his Christian faith on others, all because he posted a prayer for the victims in the Brussels terror attacks on his Facebook page, which he says is his first amendment right.
“It’s my webpage. It’s my personal webpage,” Stathakis told WWJ’s Chrystal Knight. “And what’s really sad is it’s not about me, it’s about the people in Brussels. It was just a simple prayer asking God to be at their side, and all of a sudden now it’s become pointed at me.”
In addition, Stathakis says he never hid his Christian faith from his constituents.
“I really don’t understand the uproar. I mean, it’s not the first prayer that I’ve had on my Facebook, it’s one of many,” he said. “And actually, we’ve been praying here in Shelby Township before all of our board meeting since I’ve been in office, November 2008.”
Despite all the negativity, Stathakis says he’s encouraged by the support he’s received and he feels those who oppose him are in the minority — and he plans to keep on praying.
“The First Amendment makes a very specific point to protect a private citizen’s freedom of speech. I am a private citizen as well,” he said. “My position as Shelby Township supervisor, I believe, does not preclude me from expressing my Christian beliefs.”
Redford resident Joe Cusick was angered when he heard this story on WWJ, and says he called Stathakis to express his “1,000 percent” support.
“Apparently, to this office, he’s getting flooded with calls that people support him,” Cusick said. “That’s the problem with this country — too many radicals trying to change things that most people don’t even like or want.”