In a New York Times article all about the spread of “In God We Trust” stickers on law enforcement vehicles across the country, one official set the tone for why these decals are problematic:
“I don’t know why an atheist is so upset about us putting up ‘In God We Trust,’” [Polk County Georgia] Sheriff [Johnny] Moats said. “I’m not saying that they trust God. I’m saying that we, as the guys in this department who put this on our cars, we trust in God. And why is that a bad thing? Even if you don’t believe, you know God’s all about good.”
There’s your problem right there. Moats suggests that all police officers believe in God. That’s bullshit. There are atheist cops everywhere. His statement is the law enforcement equivalent of “There are no atheists in foxholes.” Those non-theistic cops can’t always speak out against the stickers for the same reason an atheist high school football prayer would complain about a coach-led prayer at practice: You don’t want to anger your peers and the people who rank above you. It’s easier to stay quiet even though you know something it wrong.
And that last line, about how everyone knows “God’s all about good”? Also bullshit.
Ask the gay couples who were discriminated again by Kim Davis because of her faith if God is good. Ask Muslim women who don’t really have a choice about wearing a hijab if God is good. Ask anyone who’s read the Bible, where God commits genocide and kills and threatens people on a whim, if God is good.
Moats, like so many other Christians, just assumes everyone shares the broad strokes of his beliefs, even if they disagree on the details. That’s how deluded he is. Must be nice living in that majority bubble.
He maintains that non-Christians will be protected no matter what the stickers say, but why should we believe him?
If there’s a car accident, and one vehicle has a Darwin Fish sticker on the back while the other has a Bible verse, does anyone seriously think the cops aren’t going to take that into consideration?
Talk is cheap. I’m more interested in seeing what the law enforcement officials do. And what they’ve been doing in so many places is reminding citizens that they’re in the business of promoting Christianity. They care far more about stickers than they do the message they’re sending to the community.