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Florida Sheriff Refuses To Remove 'In God We Trust' From New Vehicle Designs

Amy Pilkington 10 Nov 2019

You would think that the design of police vehicles would be a simple thing, hardly controversial, but the reveal of a new look for the Brevard County Sheriff's Office (BCSO) vehicles in Florida has proven otherwise.

The new look will be rolling out as older vehicles are replaced with new ones.

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While the BCSO has always displayed a space shuttle in their graphics, to honor the county's history with the Space Center, the new look is also explicitly patriotic to "show just how proud we are of our country and the principles our great nation was founded upon!"

The flag is now proudly displayed on the doors, but it's the "In God we trust" slogan on the trunk that has some people protesting the design.

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The complaints stem from the idea of "separation of Church and State".

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By prominently displaying any religious-themed message, some feel that it singles out Christians, while ignoring Americans who follow other belief systems, or none at all.

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The phrase also appears on US currency, which has been a point of contention for decades.

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The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF), an atheist and agnostic group, protested the inclusion of the phrase on the police vehicles, but Sheriff Wayne Ivey says it's staying where it is.

In an interview with Fox & Friends, Ivey [said],(https://www.foxnews.com/us/florida-sheriff-god-trust-atheist-group-complaint) "It was the right thing to do and we're standing by it. I personally believe that our country's at a tipping point and if strong patriotic Americans don't start standing up for the great principles of this great country we're going to lose this great country."

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He also noted that the courts have held that the phrase is ceremonial and not just religious.

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As recently as June 2019, the Supreme Court rejected a case challenging the use of the phrase on US currency.

The challenge argued that it both broke the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion," and that by forcing atheists to use the currency, it was also violating the Fifth Amendment’s due process clause.

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The challenge was rejected because the Court said the phrase "does not compel citizens to engage in religion."

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Of course, there are also plenty of people who love the new patriotic theme of the vehicles.

And Ivey is clear that the slogan has nothing to do with how the officers will protect the public: "As I tell everybody when you call 9-1-1, we don't ask you what political party you're affiliated with. We don't ask you if you believe in God or if you don't. We ask you where you're at so we can come save your life."

h/t: Fox News

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