LeFlore County Sheriff’s Office Adds ‘In God We Trust’ Decals To Patrol Cars, Sparks Heated Debate
The LeFlore County Sheriff’s Office in Oklahoma has adopted a distinctive new trend that many other law enforcement agencies have also implemented for their patrol cars — “In God We Trust” decals.
According to Opposing Views, Sheriff Rob Seale has revealed details about the amount of time it took to have the new incentive approved. After months of working to clear red tape, the police department received approval and now they are moving forward with a positive outlook and motto for the new year.
Reports about the LeFlore County Sheriff’s Office decals follow a string of other reports about law enforcement agencies that have been met with opposition from groups who oppose the idea of imposing religious beliefs in workplaces. According to the Daily Signal, the “In God We Trust” decals have led to a number of heated, political debates regarding First Amendment rights.
— Meredith Marney (@5NEWSMeredithM) January 25, 2016
The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) has been quite vocal about its disapproval of the decals and in many cases, the organization has demanded law enforcement agencies in Missouri, Louisiana, Texas, and Florida remove the decals, citing political dubiousness and reliance on a deity observed only by specific groups of people.
Back in November of 2015, the Creek County Sheriff’s Office of Oklahoma also faced similar opposition from atheist groups who raised concerns about First Amendment rights. According to News On 6, Sheriff John Davis shared a different perspective of the decals by arguing that the meaning isn’t limited to a religious belief. He believes it is also a form of patriotism.
“This is patriotic… It’s our national motto. It’s not that the Creek County Sheriff’s Office is trying to impose or force religious beliefs on anybody. The way our country is now, we need all the patriotism we can get.”
However, the Freedom From Religion Foundation isn’t buying the explanation. Annie Laurie Gaylor, FFRF co-president, recently released a statement to the Associated Press on behalf of the organization.
“Don’t confuse patriotism with piety. God is supposed to stay out of government,” Gaylor said. “In a time when citizens nationwide are increasingly distrustful of police actions, it is frightening and politically dubious to announce to citizens that law enforcement officers rely on the judgment of a deity rather than on the judgment of the law,” she added in the statement.
Many city officials have responded to the FFRF’s requests in similar fashion, deeming the requests seemingly captious. In fact, Chief Adrian Garcia of the Childress Police Department in Texas even went a step further to make the department’s sentiments clear and concise by concluding his brief response letter with the phrase, “Go fly a kite.”
Police in W.V. town add "In God We Trust" to police cruisers: https://t.co/2oMTorQubp
Are you for or against? pic.twitter.com/FwXep1VStx
— Local 12/WKRC-TV (@Local12) January 31, 2016
“After carefully reading your letter I must deny your request in the removal of our Nation’s motto from our patrol units, and ask that you and the Freedom From Religion Foundation go fly a kite,” Garcia wrote. A photo of the letter was also shared on the Childress Police Department’s Facebook page.
Although there are some citizens who have voiced concerns over the “In God We Trust” decals, the LeFlore County Sheriff’s Office has revealed most of the feedback has been positive. Most citizens have actually commended them for their efforts and feel a sense of pride when they see the decals, according to 5 News Online. “It makes them feel like a sense of pride in the job that we do,” said Sheriff Rob Seale.
Do you think “In God We Trust” decals are religious or patriotic? Share your thoughts.
[Image via Shuttertsock]