How Many Local Government Agencies Have Prayers on Their Websites? June 10, 2009

How Many Local Government Agencies Have Prayers on Their Websites?

Yesterday, I posted about a Sheriff’s vehicle in Georgia that had a Jesus Fish symbol on the back of it.

After that, I learned of another local government agency which promotes Christianity…

The Orange Park Police Department in Florida has this prayer on their website (which is in serious need of a redesign):

Dear Lord, be with me on my beat
This day and every day.
Grant that each weary block I walk,
May ease a brothers way.

Let me be kindly to the old
And to the young, be strong
But let me triumph over those
Whose acts are cruel and wrong.

And if according to your plan,
I am to lose my life,
Please bless with your protecting hand
My children and my wife.

Ohh… only men can be cops. I get it.

Back to the point: Why is this on their website?

Do you know of any other examples of government agencies promoting Christianity or theism-in-general?

(Thanks to Secular Planet for the link!)

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Sue DeNimme

    In Indiana, when you get a license plate, you have the option of getting one that says “In God We Trust”. They are very popular. About every other car you see has one. These plates are not classified as vanity plates and do not cost extra to get. The ACLU lost a court case protesting this blatant violation of church/state separation.

    It makes me mad because theists are free to express *their* religious beliefs, but if *I* had a license plate expressing *my* beliefs, not only would I have to pay extra but there might be people trying to run me off the road.

  • Well, the military has paid chaplains.

  • What if somebody hacked their website and simply changed which deity the prayer is directed towards, or added deities. Can you imagine the conniption fit they would have if they saw their website read “Dear Allah, …”

  • Kate

    You forgot to mention the grammatical error right on top of the prayer page.

    Dedicated to Law Enforcement Agencies everywhere….our Hero’s!

    My head…it huuuuuuuuuuuuuurts…

  • Lacuna

    In Camden County, Georgia (county seat Woodbine) there is a war memorial on the lawn of the courthouse – it’s in the shape of a giant cross.

    In neighboring Charlton County, Georgia (county seat Folkston), home of the Okefenokee Swamnp, a government building next to the courthouse has a giant cross on the wall (on the outside).

    Both counties are in extreme SE Georgia.

  • Kurt

    Not only is this on their site, but the link from the main page is the second button in the list, right after “About Us” but above (so presumably more important than) the FAQ and other actual police department information.

    I’d say don’t get too bent out of shape about this unless they refuse to take it down after being notified. The Friendly(TM) part of me wants to attribute it to a well-meaning but wayward administrative employee who was asked to build the department a presence on That Internets Thingie.

    Judging by the overall site design and the incredibly cheez-a-licious background behind the prayer, this hypothetical employee is definitely an amateur at web sites and/or has been stone dead for several years. But maybe they can still find someone savvy enough to remove this page.

  • Todd

    I’m gonna go with “Pick your battles” on this one.

    It’s not a policy. It’s not at all ‘in your face.’ It’s not hurting anyone.

    There are bigger (Jesus) fish.

  • Erp

    You mean other than the House

    or various prayer breakfasts and National Days of Prayer.

    Ok. For California

    City of Eureka
    Fire Department (see left side bar)

    A Prayer For Those In Fire Service

    Sometimes I have to risk my own life in seeking to save the life and property of others. When I think of the perils which I must face, and when I remember that Jesus said: “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”

    Others may have better-paid jobs, and jobs which are safer and in which the hours and the work are easier, but no one has a bigger and more important job than I have.

    Lord Jesus, You are the Saviour of the world; help, strengthen and protect me that in my own sphere I too may be ready to risk all to save others.

    This I ask for Your love’s sake. AMEN

    – Chaplain Wes Powell
    (he died in 2003 so this may just be a legacy wandering around).

  • Miko

    I note also that apparently police officers are required to have children and a wife, which seems kind of unfair to women who want the job.

  • OddJeff

    I was surprised to see a “Copyright 2002 James Henderson” notice, because if this is a government funded website, it should be public domain. I also found the use of the .com domain interesting (but giving speeding tickets is a business, I guess).

  • My husband is a volunteer fire fighter, and it never seems to fail that at every event there’s somebody reciting the “Firefighter’s Prayer”

    It gets old, but with it being rural eastern Kentucky, we’ve learned to just shrug it off and deal with it.

  • JSug

    To be fair, intentionally or not, the prayer doesn’t mention anything specific to Christianity. It just appeals to a generic “Lord.” I think the correct thing to complain about here is government promoting prayer.

  • Brian Westley

    OddJeff, I know the federal government can’t copyright things, but I think I’ve seen California state copyrights, so it might be a federal vs. state deal. It could also be something that’s copyrighted privately, but the person gave permission to use it on a government website if the copyright is displayed. The copyright prohibition is only for stuff created by the government.

  • In Boone County, Arkansas, we have a county administrator that starts chain letters that are obviously religious and hopelessly undecipherable.

    Words of Wisdom from my County Administrator

  • Joseph R.

    I work for two small towns in Eastern NC and at the Board of Commissioner meetings for both of these towns, a prayer is said at the beginning of the official meetings. In fact, the prayer is an official item on the agendas at these meetings.

  • Aw jeez! That’s in my neck of the woods!

  • llewelly

    Ohh… only men can be cops. I get it.

    The way I read it, it doesn’t say anything about whether women can be cops. It just asks God to protect her wife and children. If she has a husband … oh well.

  • Jack

    I work for several small municipalities in Alabama. Every meeting starts with prayer (christianist of course). In addition, nearly all the various boards I sit on are headed up by ministers.

    I have even witnessed a minister brought in to pray at a public grade school function. During the prayer I witnessed a teacher force children to bow their heads.

  • AJ

    Lacuna, what government building are you talking about in Folkston? What government building is it, and where is it located in relation to the courthouse?

  • Jude

    I tried a Google search for prayer police site:gov It’s illuminating.

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