Police, Faith Leaders Urge Others To “Love Thy Neighbor”

Love Thy Neighbor 2019. (Photo courtesy Love Thy Neighbor USA)
Love Thy Neighbor 2019. (Photo courtesy Love Thy Neighbor USA)

OCEAN COUNTY – In a perfect world, it wouldn’t need to be said.

But since there is a growing rise of hate speech and conflicts, the “Love Thy Neighbor: There is No Room for Hate in Ocean County” campaign will start the weekend of May 31.

During that weekend, Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer has asked faith leaders to preach tolerance and kindness to their congregations.

The original “Love Thy Neighbor” weekend was initiated by multiple faith based and community leaders in partnership with the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office and the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office.

This year, those involved in the planning hope to grow the movement. It is important to spread the message that we are all different people, but our differences do not make us enemies, the prosecutor said in a press release.

“My office and the other twenty county prosecutor’s offices in New Jersey share a responsibility to detect, investigate, indict and convict those who violate the laws of our state,” Billhimer said. “I take great pride in this mission. I also believe that it is my duty to exemplify leadership beyond the realm of police work and the courtroom. As our county struggles with divisions based on race, ethnicity, religion and political views, it is incumbent on myself and all community leaders to embrace diversity. It is important to send a clear message across the respective communities that make up our great county that kindness and tolerance is preferred over vitriol and hate speech.”

For more information or to learn how your organization can take part, contact Mike Colwell, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office, at Mcolwell@co.ocean.nj.us, Bryan Huntenburg, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office, at BHuntenburg@co.ocean.nj.us, Scott Gartner, at scott@lovethyneighborusa.com or Colin Lewis at colin@lovethyneighborusa.com. You can also visit LoveThyNeighborUSA.com.