No comment needed; from the New York Times:
“If it’s on my money and it’s on the state flag, I can put it on a patrol car,” said [Polk County] Sheriff Moats, who wrote to Georgia’s sheriffs this year to promote the motto’s placement on law enforcement vehicles. “Just about every single day, I have another sheriff calling and saying, ‘I’ve done it’ or ‘Can you send me a picture of your patrol car?’ ”
Some officials contend that their display of the motto is elementary patriotism, a four-word way of “standing up for America, standing up for our country,” Sheriff Moats said. Others in law enforcement say the stickers are a response to the battering their profession’s reputation has taken after more than a year of high-profile killings and extraordinary scrutiny.
“With the dark cloud that law enforcement has been under recently, I think that we need to have a human persona on law enforcement,” said Sheriff Brian Duke of Henderson County, Tenn. “It gave us an opportunity to put something on our cars that said: ‘We are you. We’re not the big, bad police.’ ”
So that’s why we have this:
And the only sensible response, from Annie Laurie Gaylor of the Freedom from Religion Foundation:
“This motto has nothing to do with the problem of police forces’ shooting people, but it’s a great way to divert attention away from that and wrap yourself in a mantle of piety so that you’re above criticism,” said Annie Laurie Gaylor, a co-president of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, a Wisconsin-based group that has demanded that law enforcement officials stop exhibiting the motto. “The idea of aligning the police force with God is kind of scary. That’s the first thing you’d expect to see in a theocracy.”
The cops respond:
“I don’t know why an atheist is so upset about us putting up ‘In God We Trust,’ ” Sheriff Moats said. “I’m not saying that they trust God. I’m saying that we, as the guys in this department who put this on our cars, we trust in God. And why is that a bad thing? Even if you don’t believe, you know God’s all about good.”
Does that mean that every cop who rides in those cars is a believer? And how do they know that “God’s all about good”? If that were the case, why would the cops have to deal with (and sometimes commit) the murder of innocent people?
The problem, of course, is that this motto has been repeatedly deemed Constitutional by the courts, and so the cops can use it with impunity. But it’s still a prima facie violation of the First Amendment.