FFRF tells Texas sheriff to keep it secular

The Freedom From Religion Foundation is calling out the Brewster County Sheriff’s Office (Texas) for its plan to promote Christianity on its patrol vehicles. Sheriff Ronny Dodson just announced his intention to place white crosses with a thin blue stripe on all deputy vehicles.

“It is inappropriate and unconstitutional for a government entity to display a Latin cross on its property because it conveys a preference by the Sheriff’s Office—and by extension, Brewster County—for religion over nonreligion and Christianity over all minority faiths,” explained FFRF Staff Attorney Sam Grover in his complaint letter to the sheriff. “When a sheriff mandates the display of a symbol from his preferred religion on county property, not only does he unconstitutionally endorse religion, but also risks alienating the nearly 30% of Americans who are non-Christian.”

FFRF calls on Dodson to abandon his plan for the religious decals. Dodson is quoted on the sheriff office’s Facebook page as justifying the crosses because “he wanted God’s protection over his deputies.”

“We share Sheriff Dodson’s concerns for officer safety,” noted FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor, “but training, planning, and community relations efforts are far more effective than appealing to an imaginary man in the sky.”

“No government official has the right to promote his personal religious beliefs on government property,” Gaylor added. “Whether it is a cross, a star and crescent, or a pentagram, law enforcement must remain neutral on matters of religion in order to foster public confidence in their impartiality.”

The Freedom From Religion Foundation is a nationwide nonprofit organization that works to protect the constitutional principle of separation between state and church. It is the nation’s largest association of freethinkers (atheists and agnostics) and represents 23,000 members nationwide, including nearly 1,000 in Texas.

Freedom From Religion Foundation

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