A Texas police chief who ordered the words “In God We Trust” put on all of his department’s police cars has a rather terse reply for the Freedom of Religion Foundation, which asked him to remove the phrase, the Blaze is reporting.
“After carefully reading your letter I must deny your request in the removal of our Nations [sic] motto from our patrol units, and ask that you and the Freedom From Religion Foundation go fly a kite.”
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, Childress, Texas Police Chief Adrian Garcia began putting the phrase “In God We Trust,” adopted as the nation’s motto in 1956 by then-President Dwight D. Eisenhower, on his department’s patrol vehicles. Citing a recent rash of shootings of police officers, Garcia felt it was time to invoke God.
“I think with all the assaults happening on officers across the country… it’s time we get back to where we once were.”
Garcia’s east Texas police force isn’t the only one to have put the motto on patrol cars — police departments in Missouri, Virginia, Arkansas, and other places have done the same thing.
The response hasn’t always been positive, however. The use of the motto has drawn complaints due to the fact that the mottoes could be seen as invoking God on public property which, depending on whom you ask, is a violation of the First Amendment to the Constitution, which says the government cannot “endorse” religion.
Enter the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF), which describes itself as a “national church/state watchdog group” on the lookout for such violations. The FFRF has sent letters to 27 various police departments, including Garcia’s department in Childress, explaining that not all of those departments’ constituents believe in God and adhere to Christianity and asked the departments to remove the mottos. All such letters followed the same basic format, substituting names and places as necessary.
“It is inappropriate for [agency] to display ‘In God We Trust’ on government property. Statements about a god have no place on government-owned cars. Public officials should not use their government position and government property to promote their religious views. The [agency] protects all residents of [jurisdiction], including those who do not believe in a monotheistic God or any gods.”
Needless to say, Garcia was not moved by the FFRF’s pleas and wrote the response seen in the photo at the beginning of this post. Then, in order to drive the point home, he took a picture of the letter and posted it on the Childress Police Department’s Facebook Page.
“Ok so here it is I received a letter from the freedom of religion foundation, demanding we remove the ‘In God we trust’ off our patrol units. So I responded back with this letter.”
The response to Chief Garcia’s letter has been almost overwhelmingly positive, at least as far as the comments on the department’s Facebook page are concerned. Several readers thanked Garcia for “standing up for what is right,” while others have asked where they can find “In God We Trust” decals for their own vehicles. Others took the Freedom From Religion Foundation to task for “trying to take our rights away” and “bothering the chief with this nonsense.”
As of this post, Chief Garcia’s response has generated over 97,000 “likes” and over 83,000 “shares” on Facebook.
Do you think the Childress, Texas police chief was right to respond to the Freedom From Religion Foundation the way he did?