Home / News / Tulsa police officer loses suit over refusing to attend a local mosque for free lunch for law enforcement
Tulsa police officer loses suit over refusing to attend a local mosque for free lunch for law enforcement

Tulsa police officer loses suit over refusing to attend a local mosque for free lunch for law enforcement

A federal judge ruled this week that a Tulsa police officer's attempt to file suit over eating in a mosque claiming that eating there violated his First Amendment rights would be "futile" at best.  Tulsa.com reports:

U.S. District Judge Gregory Frizzell wrote, "Fields has offered no case law for the proposition that filing a lawsuit turns a dispute over the violation of personal rights into a public concern that implicates the First Amendment."

Frizzell also denied Fields' attempt to add a claim under the Oklahoma Religious Freedom Act, writing that nothing the city of Tulsa – or other defendants – allegedly did kept Fields from practicing his religion.

The Law Enforcement Appreciation Day was held at an Islamic Society of Tulsa mosque March 4 to give the group a chance to show its gratitude for police officers' response to a threat against it.

However, Fields refused to attend the event based on his religious beliefs and also refused to require his subordinates to attend.

Fields filed the first version of his Tulsa federal court lawsuit on Feb. 23 against Deputy Chief Daryl Webster, claiming that Webster retaliated against him and singled out Fields for disparate treatment because of the stance he took.

The first incarnation of the lawsuit was filed two days after Fields was "temporarily transferred" from the Police Department's Riverside Division to another patrol shift at the Mingo Valley Division.

Fields stated in correspondence with a superior that he considered an order to attend the event to be "an unlawful order, as it is in direct conflict with (his) personal religious convictions, as well as to be conscience shocking."

He also told his superiors that he would not require any of his subordinates to follow the order "if they share similar religious convictions."

The judge also noted that just because the officer filed a lawsuit doesn't mean "that it's a matter for public concern."

About Dakota O'Leary

Dakota O'Leary is a freethinker, and often sassy, scholar of theology and literature. She got her Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Theology from the State University of New York College at Buffalo, and her Master of Arts degree in Theology and Literature from Antioch University-Midwest. She is a contributing writer focusing on eschatology, biblical prophecy, and general religious news. Dakota is a co-host of the God Discussion radio show, offering insight to the news stories of the week. We like to call her "our in-house Biblical prophecy expert" as her articles on eschatology have received over 200,000 views on God Discussion.
  • zzzzz

    He turned down a free lunch? The man has real character.

  • Monique

    This is nothing but a Liberal Judge allowing Creeping Sharia Law into the United States. The Judge is wrong. I am so upset what happened to this police officer. What is wrong with our country? Have we all gone mad and loss our sense of direction and core values? I'm very ashamed of this Judge's decision. I wish I could tell him to his face how disgusting his decision was. This is just plain wrong. People better hold on to their guns with judges like this. I say that because that will be the next thing the Judges come after with our government backing them up.

  • angie

    Wow. Were it a muslim and the lunch held at a Catholic church, what do you think would have happened? Yeah, nothing. They would have bent over backwards to make sure he/she wasn't offended by the Christian religion. Sickening.

    • Catholics are not true Christians you assuming all Christians are catholic. me i wouldnot eat lunch in a mosque my self. i'd rather eat at a church or a synagogue

  • eric

    What I want to know is "why are "WE" so afraid to offend the Muslims and so ready to offend those individuals who want to practice our Christian beliefs and convictions???"

    • It's not about being afraid to offend. It's about basic respect for other beliefs other than our own. Nobody is offending Christians, or forbidding them to practice their faith–or if Christians are being offended by other faiths, perhaps it's time to take a look inside and do some retrospection about what is causing the discomfort.

      • Respect for other beliefs? Really? What respect has Islam had for Christianity? Copts? Buddhists? Jews? Persians? Hindus? What respect does the Qur' an have for Christians and Jews? Qur' an 9:29-32.

        Answer: None! Islam has no respect for anything that is not Islamic. Islamic history is a history of hatred for any group which is not Islamic.

        It is always interesting when a person who clearly knows very little to nothing about either Christianity or Islam tells Christians they have to do the introspection. Really? It reminds of the mindless bumper sticker that demands we all Coexist. It is interesting that the only religion who fails to coexist is the first one listed: Islam.

        So, when a Muslim whines that he is being offended do you offer the same advice? I doubt it very much because whining is part of their theocracy. It is called taqiyya.

        Yet, when a Christian is offended it has to be his or her fault. I mean the poor Muslim is only trying to be nice. So, the Christian must do the soul searching and the Muslim, who is bent on offending everybody, is allowed to continue. The fact is the demand that this police officer must go to the mosque is a violation of his ability to practice his religious belief because (1) he forced to eat halal meat and (2) he forced to enter a building devoted to an idol.

        What's more the Muslims decide to call make a lunch, invite the police and the individual officers have no choice? Oh, but remember it is the Christian's fault.

        The ignorance displayed about the true motives of Islam is why this country is in deep trouble.

        • I have multiple degrees in religion, so I assure you that this is about a fundamental lack of respect. Christians and Islamists have been going at it for 2000 years now, so are you going to continue the hate, or be part of the solution? Your excuses do nothing but forward intolerance. Nobody said the other side was innocent.

          • Mr. Brian Batty, O.P.

            I'm not trying to be insulting but you either do not really have degrees in religion or you went to very very bad schools that simply let you buy degrees. Islam is only 1400 years old; that's 600 years shy of the 2000 years of Christianity!

      • Kix

        @Dakota O'Leary – I think that you don't have a clue and I have serious doubts that you have any degree in religion. If you're not a muslim then you're an already sold out dhimmi. The fact is, Christians are being told on every level that we are no longer free to practice our faith in this country. And islam, which by the way is NOT a religion, is being crammed down our throats at breakneck speed. You can call me intolerant, an islamophobe (there is no such malady), or anything else you want. But the fact is, NO one in this country or anywhere else in the world has the right or authority to tell any citizen that we have to tolerate what's being demanded of of us by muslims.

    • zzzzz

      Eric, I do not understand your sentence. The syntax is incorrect.

  • Robert King Barrett

    If it were a muslim cop filing this because he refused to go to a Christian luncheon. I guarantee you that a judge would have allowed it. It is happening all across America.

  • Kix

    By the way Dakota, Christians and islamists could NOT possibly have been going at it for 2000 years because islam hasn't even been around for 1400 years. In it's earliest years Mohammad got along great with the Christians and Jews because they were protecting him from his own people that saw the evil of his ideology. It wasn't until he tried forcing islam on the Christians and Jews that they started fighting him off as well. One would think that someone with "multiple degrees in religion" would know this history.

  • Cari

    So what makes his story any different from all the different religions who have complained that a cross in our school or court house prevents them from practicing their religion. It doesn't! His story is proof of how ridiculous our system is and that it protects foreigners before its own people and the standards on which our country was founded. The fact of the matter is that this really has nothing to do with religion and more about making a point of how our system works unjustly. I was watching a cartoon i dont normally watch last night and the white guy didn't like someone he worked with who was black because he was a complete jerk. When he stated that he was suddenly racist. His reply was this, "What Kind of country is this where i an only hate a man if hes white, otherwise im racist." It works the same with religion. Nothing and no symbol has ever stopped anyone from practicing their religion.

  • There is an awful lot of a agression in these comments. Christianity is based the life and teaching of Jesus, who was respectful and supportive of other religions or tribes, showed love and forgiveness and was scornful of the kind of priggish attitudes being shown here. He would certainly have gone for a meal with anyone, anywhere!

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