Burnet County sheriff defends ‘In God We Trust’ decals

The Burnet County sheriff has reaffirmed his stance on allowing deputies to place 'In God We Trust' decals on their patrol cruisers after the department received some complaints by commenters on social media. Courtesy photo

The Burnet County sheriff has reaffirmed his stance on allowing deputies to place 'In God We Trust' decals on their patrol cruisers after the department received some complaints by commenters on social media. Courtesy photo

CONNIE SWINNEY • STAFF WRITER

BURNET — A move to allow deputies to affix “In God We Trust” decals on their patrol units has tipped off a firestorm on social media and prompted the Burnet County sheriff to recommit his support for the display of faith by his staff.

“Some other departments around the country were doing it. It sounded like a good idea for me to offer the opportunity to (the deputies),” Burnet County Sheriff W.T. Smith said. “We have a number of people in the department who are practicing Christians.

“It wasn’t mandatory,” he said. “If they chose to do it, they could do it.”

The decals were donated to the department by an Austin-based group, he said.

Posting a photo of one of the vehicles with the decal on the Burnet County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page sparked a debate among commenters.

The vast majority of commenters appeared to support the idea; however, a number of them expressed staunch opposition.

Scott McKellar, who expressed his opposition, stated: “Slogans on police cars are not religious expression on the part of the officers, but religious expression by the government. They are government speech, and will be (correctly) perceived as such.”

Commenter Robert Barrow stated: “These officers displaying this are not ashamed of their faith and many are personal friends, just like your (sic) not ashamed to complain (about) it and try to validate your point about your belief on a government FB page.”

Smith said that despite the opposition, he reaffirmed to his staff his support for the decals.

“I’m not going to interfere in an individual’s right to express their faith,” Smith said. “I don’t understand any push back on that. It’s a positive thing as far as I’m concerned.”

As a number of commenters debated the issue on the page, one chose to add humor to the discourse.

Glory Betexan wrote: “It’s acceptable, but I’d have preferred ‘remember the Alamo.’”

connie@thepicayune.com

7 thoughts on “Burnet County sheriff defends ‘In God We Trust’ decals

  1. Does this mean that any official, employed, elected or appointed, has the right to allow the Islamic crescent on government property if the community is majority Muslim? Try out that thought.

    The sheriff’s answer was dissembling at best.

  2. Just curious. If a member of the sheriffs department was Muslim, Jewish or (God help us) a Satanist, do we think a decal on HIS squad car declaring that affiliation would meet with such widespread approval as “In God We Trust”??

  3. Ever notice that no one is actually FORCING atheists/muslims/and other liberal nazis to believe in God, but rather, it is the atheists/muslims/and other liberal Nazis who try to FORCE everyone else to deny their faith… Double Standard much??? Think about that… no one is forcing you to believe, so why try to force those who are happy in their belief to become as unhappy as you obviously are. That shows a level of immaturity… or perhaps even personal regret on your part. if a muslim wants to display their little emblem, let them. I am not afraid of an emblem. I will not grow a tail or sprout horns if it crosses my path. Who really cares about someone’s display of their faith other than those who are jealous of those who have some sort of belief system in place. Get a life. Quit whining.

  4. This is a Christian nation. If you nay sayers don’t like it move to North Korea. A question for you nay sayers. What is the basis of our laws anyway. The satanic bible or God’s word??

  5. Quite simply stated… Nothing bad will happen to you if you catch a glimpse of a muslim cresent, a christian fish symbol, a pentagram, a swastika, a Jewish star of David, or any other symbol of someone’s belief. Being offended by these items is childish. Trust me…You will survive if you run across an emblem or symbol of someone’s faith. You will NOT grow a tail, or an extra head, a set or horns, or even a sense of humor should you encounter such a symbol or emblem. There have been no documented cases of any sort of physical or mental deformities arising from exposure to some silly symbol or emblem. Grow up! Quit trying to force others to believe exactly as YOU see fit. The joy of living in America is being allowed to be an individual. It appears only the liberals are whining about freedom of expression until their own is attacked… If a sheriff wants to decorate his car with his faith, let him. Who cares?!? If an atheist needs to use that particular car that day, throw a piece of duct tape over the item and move on with life. It’s not rocket science folks. It’s so ridiculous how crippled we have become as a society…

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