Basketball Hoops Donations Upset Fla. Atheists

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An atheist group is upset with a Florida sheriff's attempt to get tough with local inmates.

Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd decided to send a message to those in the local lockup by removing the jail basketball baskets and donating them.

"You don't come to jail to play basketball," he said. "You don't come to jail to have a good time."

The basketball hoops were sent to eight certified non-profit organizations -- all of them local churches. Ellenbeth Wachs, with the group Atheist of Florida responded, saying the property doesn't belong on church grounds.

"He played Santa Claus with county property," Wachs said. "He had no business doing that."

Wachs said her atheist group is willing to take the issue to court as a matter of separation of church and state.

"Everyone who is designated to get a basketball court is a Christian church, and that violates the U.S. and Florida Constitutions," she added.

The atheists now want Polk County to spend more money to dig the hoops up again and move them to parks, schools, or anywhere else without a religious connection.

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