Atheists are once again in a tizzy over government property donning religious references. The Henderson County Sheriff’s Department in Tennessee put decals on their vehicles that read “In God We Trust.” Someone must have gone to the Freedom From Religion Foundation for rescue. The FFRF sent the Sheriff’s Department a letter, telling them that those decals have no place on government property. They told the department to remove the decals at once.
Sheriff Brian Duke responded with a letter containing only one word. He wrote, in emboldened letters, “NO.”
“The U.S. Supreme Court says it’s perfectly legal,” Duke said.
Duke said the motto was added to about 20 patrol cars last month.
“A lot of people are going to be against it and a lot of people are going to be for it,” Henderson County resident Timothy Lynn Gordon said.
The sheriff tells WBBJ 7 Eyewitness News he doesn’t feel he or the department have broken any laws and that he intends to keep the slogan right where it is.
Duke did respond to the two-page complaint from the nonprofit. The written response to the organization simply reads “NO” in boldface font.
“Basically everything I had to say I included in my letter,” he said.
Some residents agree with his decision to stand by the phrase. “It’s what this country stands for,” Billy Franklin said.
FFRF said in a phone interview a more accurate phrase would be, “In God some of us trust.”
The nonprofit, with more than 23,000 members nationwide, said Henderson County residents could feel they’re being profiled if they don’t believe in God.
Sheriff Duke said the current expression doesn’t single out one specific religion. “There’s so many religions that acknowledge the existence of a God,” he said.
The sheriff said employees have made no complaints about the expression.
The foundation said they’ve sent dozens of similar letters to law enforcement agencies across the country, including in Dyer and Gibson counties.
Who cares what the Supreme Court says. They’re fickle. Yesterday, they may have said that the decals don’t constitute a Constitutional violation. Tomorrow, they might decide that it does. But good for the sheriff for taking a stand.
Atheists would have about as much luck having sufficient standing to have the police car decals removed as they would having the motto removed from our federal reserve notes and coins.
And the sheriff is right. Saying “In God We Trust” doesn’t endorse any particular religion. There are many theistic religions. But Atheists always assumes that it’s Christianity. And let’s be honest. Atheists only care about destroying Christianity.