SIDNEY, Ohio — One of the nation’s most conspicuous Church-State separation groups has written to a sheriff’s office in Ohio to claim that the “For God and Country” patches worn on deputy uniforms are unconstitutional.
The Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) sent a letter on Wednesday to the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office to request that the patches be removed. It provided two photographs of the patches as worn on official uniforms.
“It is inappropriate and unconstitutional for the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office to promote or endorse religion,” the correspondence, written by Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor, read. “Anyone viewing these patches would understand the sheriff’s office to be endorsing religion and a belief in a God.”
“Displaying ‘For God and Country’ on sheriff’s deputy uniforms demonstrates a preference for religion over non-religion on behalf of the sheriff’s office,” she asserted. “These religious patches convey a message to non-religious citizens that they are not favored members of the political community.”
FFRF also contended that deputies who might not believe shouldn’t have to wear a message they don’t agree with, or stick out as an unbeliever by not wearing one.
“We strongly urge you to keep in mind your obligation not to promote or endorse religion, and we ask that you remove these patches from Shelby County Sheriff’s Office uniforms,” the letter requested.
It is not yet known whether or not Sheriff John Lenhart plans to respond.
As previously reported, John Adams, second president of the United States, wrote in his diary on Feb. 22, 1756, “Suppose a nation in some distant region, should take the Bible for their only law book, and every member should regulate his conduct by the precepts there exhibited. Every member would be obliged in conscience to temperance and frugality and industry, to justice and kindness and charity towards his fellow men, and to piety and love, and reverence towards almighty God.”
“In this Commonwealth, no man would impair his health by gluttony, drunkenness or lust—no man would sacrifice his most precious time to cards, or any other trifling and mean amusement—no man would steal or lie or any way defraud his neighbour, but would live in peace and goodwill with all men. No man would blaspheme his Maker or profane his worship, but a rational and manly, a sincere and unaffected piety and devotion, would reign in all hearts.”
“What a Eutopia, what a paradise would this region be,” Adams declared.
In 1798, as president, he proclaimed a national day of humiliation, prayer and fasting.
“As the safety and prosperity of nations ultimately and essentially depend on the protection and blessing of Almighty God, and the national acknowledgment of this truth is not only an indispensable duty which the people owe to Him,” Adams wrote, “… this duty, at all times incumbent, is so especially in seasons of difficulty and of danger, when existing or threatening calamities—the just judgments of God against prevalent iniquity—are a loud call to repentance and reformation.”