We’ve seen a lot of sheriffs putting “In God We Trust” stickers on city-owned vehicles over the past few months. Unfortunately, there’s not much recourse for that. The sheriffs just lie about the religious basis for that, shrug their shoulders, and say, “It’s our motto!”
But when it’s a Christian cross, you have to think that crosses a line. This is a mockup of the cross that Brewster County (Texas) Sheriff Ronny Dodson plans to put on his office’s vehicles:
The office even posted a supporter’s comment on Facebook:
We stand with Sheriff Ronny Dodson on his decision to place crosses on all of his deputies vehicles. These crosses are white with a thin blue stripe across them. He said that he wanted God’s protection over his deputies and that the thin blue line stands for law enforcement. As the mother of one of these officers, I appreciate this bold statement in a time when everyone is so worried about being “politically correct”. Thanks again Sheriff Dodson!!! Please share your support for his decision…
There’s just no doubt about the intention here: It’s to promote religion through the department.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation, recognizing that a line had been crossed, sent a letter to Dodson yesterday, warning him against doing this:
Citizens of Brewster County trust their elected officials to attend to their elected secular duties. Spending taxpayer time and money placing religious symbols on patrol cars is beyond the scope of secular government. The proposed cross decals must not be placed on Brewster County Sheriff’s Office vehicles…
So far, there’s been no official response, though someone at the office pointed out that they have contacted the state’s Attorney General for advice. Given that the AG is Ken Paxton, who never met a Christian “martyr” he didn’t support, I have no doubt he’ll say it’s perfectly legal. But FFRF could have a legitimate case here if they decide to pursue this since it’s very clearly a promotion of Christianity.