The Freedom From Religion Foundation has sent seven letters recently to police and sheriff's departments across the South that have decided to display "In God We Trust" on their law enforcement vehicles.
Law enforcement agencies contacted include:
• Amory Police Department, Miss.
• Bay County Sheriff's Office, Fla.
• Bonifay Police Department, Fla.
• Culpeper County Sheriff's Office, Va.
• Halifax County Sheriff's Office, N.C.
• Stone County Sheriff's Department, Mo.
• Walton County Sheriff's Office, Fla.
In the letters, FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor points out that posting "In God We Trust" on police vehicles promotes religion, sending a message of exclusion to nearly a quarter of the U.S. population who identifies as nonreligious.
"Spending taxpayer time placing religious messages on patrol cars is beyond the scope of secular government," wrote Gaylor. "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."
FFRF urges each of the departments to remove the messages from publicly-financed vehicles in order to "respect the rights of conscience of all citizens, including those who in good conscience reject belief in a god."