Atheists warn law-enforcement agencies to remove 'In God We Trust'
An atheist organization has dispatched letters to 17 law-enforcement agencies across a half a dozen states telling them to take the words of the national motto, “In God We Trust,” off their officers’ vehicles.
The Freedom from Religion Foundation sent the letters, protesting that the message is one of “exclusion” for people who identify as nonreligious.
“Spending taxpayer time placing religious messages on patrol cars is beyond the scope of secular government. Further, 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,” said Annie Laurie Gaylor, an executive for the group.
The Alliance Defending Freedom, however, sent letters to the same agencies advising them not to worry because they have a right to display the motto.
“You recently received a letter from Freedom From Religion Foundation objecting to the decision by members of your department to display our national motto – ‘In God We Trust’ – on department vehicles,” the letters explain. “FFRF wrongly claims that it is ‘inappropriate’ for members of your team ‘to promote their religious views’ by displaying our national motto.
“We write to inform you that it does not violate the First Amendment for your team to continue displaying the national motto on department vehicles and to offer our assistance if FFRF or any other atheist group threatens your department with litigation over the use of ‘In God We Trust.’”