NEW BOSTON, Texas — A sign maker in Texas is offering auto decals of the national motto to police departments and individual officers nationwide as a way to provide support to America’s law enforcement officials.
“To any law enforcement or first responders that want the “In God We Trust’ decals, we will donate them!” Brian Whitfield of Signs & More of New Boston, Texas posted to Facebook on Thursday.
He said that the company has been receiving numerous requests for the decals and is offering them at no charge to any police department across the nation.
“We’re getting hundreds of messages about whether we will donate decals just for Bowie County,” Whitfield said. No, we will donate to any department that wants them until we can’t financially do it anymore. But yes, we will do it for any department!”
He also posted photographs of some officials who have posted the decals to their vehicles, such as Sheriff James Prince of New Boston and Deputy Russell Crawford of the Bowie County Sheriff’s Office. Whitfield says that over 25 agencies nationwide have requested the decals thus far.
“You know, with law enforcement, they do a dangerous job, and I think it was an opportunity for them and for us to proclaim their trust is in God in each day they go out and do what they do,” he told KSLA-TV.
However, in the midst of the distribution, the Wisconsin-based Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF) is contacting police and sheriff’s departments and telling them to remove the decals out of its assertion that the use of the stickers on government vehicles is unconstitutional.
Agencies contacted include the Marion County Sheriff’s Office in Florida, the Randolph County Sheriff’s Office in Missouri, the Elizabethton Police Department in Tennessee and the Boaz Police Department in Alabama.
“It is inappropriate for the office to display ‘In God We Trust’ on government property. Statements about a God have no place on government-owned cars,” one letter reads.
“[C]itizens should not be made to feel offended, excluded and like political outsiders because the local government they support with their taxes oversteps its power by prominently placing a religious statement on office vehicles,” it contends.
FFRF also asserts that because some of the department might not believe in God, a more accurate decal would be “In God some of us trust.”
But some agencies are refusing to remove the decals, even in the face of a potential lawsuit.
“If the Freedom from Religion Foundation wishes us to take them off our vehicles, I suggest that they get a judge’s order or a new sheriff,” responded Walton County, Florida Sheriff Michael Adkison. “You are obviously unaware that ‘In God We trust’ is the state motto of the state of Florida, and has been since 1886. This was reaffirmed in 2006.”
Whitfield is also offering “We still trust in God” decals for private citizens for a small fee.