Missouri Sheriff Departments Now Being Asked To Remove ‘In God We Trust’ Decals, Sparks Controversy

Back in July, the Stone County Sheriff’s Office started a trend that many other Missouri sheriff departments have begun to follow. As previously reported on Inquisitr, Stone County Sheriff Doug Rader shared an announcement via Facebook revealing the new “In God We Trust” decal for all of the department’s patrol vehicles. In addition to being praised by Facebook users, apparently the decal has appealed to many other sheriff departments who have also decided to follow suit. However, there are many people who aren’t pleased with the new trend.

According to Opposing Views, the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) recently sent a letter to the Laclede County Sheriff’s Department requesting that the decal be removed. The letter, reportedly written by Annie Laurie Gaylor, FFRF Co-President, argues a number of reasons why the decal is “inappropriate and unconstitutional,” reports the Lebanon Daily Record.

“Public officials should not use their government position and government property to promote their religious views” Gaylor wrote. “The Department protects all residents of Laclede County, including those who do not believe in a monotheistic god or any gods.”

Gaylor even goes a step further by arguing that the decals are a waste of taxpayer money and questions the validity of the notable phrase based on the progressive changes in statistics where religion is concerned. Now that a heightened number of Americans identify as “nonreligious,” Gaylor questions the accuracy of the phrase.

“The history of the motto ‘In God We Trust’ evidences no secular purpose; on the contrary, the motto was first adopted during the Cold War as a reaction to the purported ‘godlessness’ of Communism.”

Although the Laclede County Sheriff’s Department was the first to make headlines after receiving the letter, the FFRF has revealed that it was sent to a total of 10 different law enforcement agencies on Friday, Aug. 7.

Here is the list of the all the agencies the organization sent the letter to:

• Brookfield Police Department, Mo.
• Elizabethton Police Department, Tenn.
• Greenup County Sheriff’s Office, Ky.
• Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, Ill.
• Laclede County Sheriff’s Department, Mo.
• Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office, Mo.
• Linn County Sheriff’s Department, Mo.
• Marion County Sheriff’s Office, Fla.
• Ralls County Sheriff’s Office, Mo.
• Randolph County Sheriff’s Office, Mo.

At this point, it is unclear whether the law enforcement agencies will adhere to the FFRF’s request. However, Laclede County Sheriff Wayne Merrit continues to defense the decision to add the decal. He also explained that the decision to add the decal was partially inspired by a letter issued by a Springfield attorney. “It’s time now for the majority to be heard,” Merritt stated of the decision. “The minority is always making noise, and they always seem to get the biggest stage and microphone from the media, from California, from Hollywood.”

[Image via Facebook]