You may remember that, back in March, a Cedar Rapids (Iowa) fire station was in the news after someone inquired about a fire truck featuring religious imagery and the words of Psalm 23:
At the time, the fire department was leaning towards allowing more religious imagery in order to avoid any possible lawsuits — opening the door to a fire truck with paintings of the Flying Spaghetti Monster and Shiva. (I’m sure no one would have had a problem with that…)
Thankfully, they’ve since decided to go in the other direction:
[Fire Chief Mark] English said the department “quietly” painted over the spiritual images, replacing them with the department’s logo.
English said he consulted with the Civil Rights Commission, the department’s firefighters, city officials and others in the community before making the decision.
He said the department considered adding symbols from other religions onto the truck or removing what was there.
“And it was decided that the removal of the image was in the best interest of not causing any concern from anyone in the community,” English said. “We’re not here to offend anybody.”
English said there was a lot of discussion about the issue among firefighters, and he said they concluded, “we’ve got bigger things to deal with than this.”
YES! Finally, a group of public servants who get it. This isn’t about anyone being anti-Christian; it’s about making sure a taxpayer-funded fire department is religiously-neutral. No one’s telling the firefighters they can’t pray on their own time (or kneel in the midst of a fire).
Give it a day or two, though. The Christian Right won’t hesitate to spin this into a tale of persecution.
(Thanks to Dan for the link)