GA Police Officer Targeted by Atheist Group over ‘In God We Trust’ Decal

The Freedom From Religion Foundation is targeting a Georgia police officer after he put a decal reading “In God We Trust” on the back of his patrol car.

Burke County Sheriff Greg Coursey said, “I thought it was time that we let people know what we believe and who we trust. We have to put our trust in God to do our work … I want the people to know that we do trust in God and I think it makes them feel more comfortable that they do have a sheriff and law enforcement officers in this county that do put their trust in God.”

Coursey added, “They said they had one person in Burke County that had objected and I don’t know who that is, they hadn’t been in my office and told me they objected to it.”

The Freedom From Religion Foundation sent a cease and desist letter to the sheriff demanding that he remove the motto from any patrol cars. Coursey’s attorney, Freddie Sanders, responded, “Their legal grounds would be that it would be unconstitutional,” but argued, “The motto is what they call “In God We Trust” is not endorsing or necessarily talking about a religion.”

The decal’s cost is covered by deputies’ donations, community donations, and funds donated by the sheriff.

Coursey does not have any plans to capitulate; he stated, “First a born again Christian, a follower of Jesus Christ, first and then I’m sheriff after that. I do look to God and I put my trust in him everyday to do this job.” He said bluntly he won’t remove the decal, asserting, “I don’t think so, I don’t think so. No I’m not ashamed of the Gospel.”

On Tuesday, in Laurel County, Kentucky, the sheriff’s department announced they will add “In God We Trust” logos to their cruisers, stating, “In response to recent violence against law enforcement officers, more and more agencies are placing phrases like “God Bless America,” or “In God We Trust” on their marked patrol cars.” Laurel County Sheriff John Root paid for the decals himself.

In July and August, the Freedom From Religion Foundation sent letters to 30 sheriffs’ and police departments around the country using the national motto “In God We Trust” on their vehicles. Those departments include:

Brookfield Police Department, Mo.; Elizabethton Police Department, Tenn.; Greenup County Sheriff’s Office, Ky.; Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, Ill.; Laclede County Sheriff’s Department, Mo.; Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office, Mo.; McDonald County Sheriff’s Department, Mo.; Linn County Sheriff’s Department, Mo.; Marion County Sheriff’s Office, Fla.; Ralls County Sheriff’s Office, Mo.; Randolph County Sheriff’s Office, Mo.; Ripley County Sheriff’s Office, Mo.; 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.; Houston County Sheriff’s Office, Ala.; Newton County Sheriff’s Department, Mo.; Barry County Sheriff’s Department, Mo.; Camden County Sheriff’s Department, Mo.; Hempstead County Sheriff’s Office, Ark.; Cole County Sheriff’s Department, Mo.; Boaz Police Department, Ala.; Pineville City Marshal, Mo.; Cape Girardeau County Sheriff’s Department, Mo.; Cave City Sheriff’s Department, Ark.; and Lee County Sheriff’s Department, VA.


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