A national atheist organization is urging an Ohio sheriff’s office to remove “For God and Country” patches from officer uniforms, asserting they are unconstitutional.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation sent a letter Aug. 8 to the Shelby County, Ohio, Sheriff’s Office after it received a complaint about the patches.
“It is inappropriate and unconstitutional for the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office to promote or endorse religion,” the letter from FFRF co-president Annie Laurie Gaylor reads. “Anyone viewing these patches would understand the Sheriff’s Office to be endorsing religion and belief in a god. We request that these patches be removed.”
The patches display an American flag with the words “For God” at the top and “And Country” at the bottom.
A FFRF press release said “government employees can worship, pray, or read any religious text they wish when acting in their personal capacities”
“But they are not permitted to provide prestige to their personal religion through the machinery of a government office,” the press release added. “Sheriffs and deputies take an oath to uphold our godless and entirely secular constitution and must keep their personal religious views out of law enforcement.”
Michael Foust is a freelance writer. Visit his blog, MichaelFoust.com.
Publication Date: August 14, 2018
Photo Courtesy: Unsplash
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, The Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.