A Missouri sheriff’s department that decided to slap “In God We Trust” decals on patrol cars – the same motto that blares on all U.S. currency – has inadvertently sparked a firestorm of criticism from those who think the saying doesn’t belong on government property.
The decals blare on the back of all police vehicles with the Stone County department in the Ozarks, Sheriff Doug Rader said, Fox News reported.
“The Evidence Bible” is now available and includes, besides the King James version, dozens of articles expanding answers to questions such as why is there suffering, explanations about what Muslims believe and scientific facts written millennia before man discovered them.
But many are unhappy.
“Very simple and ill state for the record, I’m not offended that these decals exist, IT’S INAPPROPRIATE TO HAVE THEM ON GOVERNMENT PROPERTY. No voting required, it’s a violation of church and state. You are showing preference to a religion, how is this such a mystery?” wrote Nathan Belden, on the sheriff’s Facebook page, regarding the decals, Fox News said.
Others questioned who paid for the decals – taxpayers or private entity. And the sheriff explained: We used money from local business donations, he said, Fox News reported.
Rader also said the decals don’t cross any constitutional boundaries – they tout the same message used on all U.S. currency since 1956.
“There has been no better time than now to proudly display our National Motto!” he wrote, on the same Facebook page.
To KSPR-TV, Rader said he acknowledges not all think similarly, but that “a lot of negativity is [actually] coming from people outside the state,” he said.
“It is part of our heritage,” Rader said, of the motto. “It is patriotic.”
Rader said on “Fox & Friends” a lot of neighboring sheriff’s departments have “In God We Trust” on the back of their patrol vehicles, and that his own community is supportive of the decal. Most of the opposition comes from atheists who don’t even live in the community, he said.
“Anytime somebody wants to make a patriotic act these days it’s controversial,” he said.