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Bible Verse Decals to Come Off VA County Patrol Cars Immediately, Sheriff Says

May 18, 2017  | 

The Bible verse decals that have adorned Montgomery County (VA) Sheriff's Office vehicles since March are coming off immediately, Sheriff Hank Partin said in a Thursday statement.

Announcement of the decals' removal came after county officials began asking about them and as the Freedom From Religion Foundation and the Virginia branch of the American Civil Liberties Union called the markings an unacceptable breach of the U.S. Constitution's wall between church and state, reports the Roanoke Times.

"A Bible verse … is a sectarian and exclusively religious statement," said Sam Grover, staff attorney for the Madison, WI-based Freedom From Religion Foundation. "Under the Establishment Clause, the sheriff's office, as a government entity, must remain neutral. It cannot promote one religion over another, or religion over non-religion."

The Montgomery County decals on the back of patrol cars read, "Blessed are the peacemakers... Matthew 5:9."

The decals were put on vehicles in March and were donated by the company that designs graphics for the county Sheriff's Office, Capt. Brian Wright, a spokesman for the sheriff's office, wrote in an email Tuesday.

"We believe it's a great way to honor our brothers and sisters in law enforcement during a time when many seek to tear them down," Wright wrote.

However, on Thursday, Partin released a statement that read, in part: "In the midst of National Police Week, we want to focus on those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice while serving their communities. The last thing that I want is for this to become a distraction to the men and women who serve their communities selflessly every day."

Comments (4)

Displaying 1 - 4 of 4

Cindy Walters @ 5/18/2017 6:34 PM

Can anyone tell me how I can get these same decals??? I plan on putting them on my own vehicles!!! Let the Board of Supervisors stop that!!!!

Trigger @ 5/19/2017 12:15 PM

If the message said "Damn the Peacemakers..Satan" no one would have
said anything.

AZBIGDOG @ 5/21/2017 7:25 AM

So much for allowing people to worship as they want. Not sure any of the officers were upset about it. To be a Peacemaker is not a religious statement but a profession to care for others. Too bad there is always one person that wants to decide what others are allowed to say or do.

Kenneth Mitchell @ 6/6/2017 9:19 AM

The Bible is not only the word of God to Christians, it is a history of the Jewish and Christian people. Therefore it could be said that the decals are historical in nature, not religious. Again the beliefs of many are trampled by the selfish views of few. God bless our peace keepers everywhere, from foreign lands to our hometown streets. Thank you for your service and may God protect you always.

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