The Atheist group, The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) recently sent a letter to the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office asking them to remove patches from their uniforms.
The patches say, “For God and Country” and feature an American flag in the center of them. According to the letter from FFRC, the patch is deemed by them to be both “unconstitutional and inappropriate” because it endorses a religious belief in God.
Shelby County, Ohio, is not the only Sheriff’s office to make moves to declare God at the center of justice. Brazoria County Sheriff’s Office made an addition to all their automobiles in the form of decals which read, “IN GOD WE TRUST.”
According to USA Today, about 250 law enforcement offices around the country are adding similar sayings to their cruisers or uniforms, and that number appears on the rise.
Bradley County, Tennessee, and many throughout middle America are joining the trend.
While the letter from FFRF is not a lawsuit, it is a formal documented request that brings to light the age-old debate of the separation of “church and state.”
The original phrase “separation of Church and State” stems from a letter from then-President Thomas Jefferson who wrote to a church group in Connecticut and then published in a Massachusetts newspaper after that. It is often confused with the Establishment Clause which states the government (i.e., Congress) shall make no law establishing a state-sponsored religion and in its second half includes the “Free Exercise Clause”: which allows individual citizens freedom from government interference in both the private and public exercise of religions.
What is noteworthy about this law is it doesn’t stop the placement of religious symbols on government premises, which is why so many law enforcement agencies can choose to add these phrases to their fleets of cars or their uniforms.