Religion

Kansas Police Remove Bible Verse From Vehicle (Video)

| by Michael Allen
Harper Kansas Police vehicleHarper Kansas Police vehicle

The police department in Harper, Kansas, agreed on June 28 to remove a "Romans 13:4" sticker, which is a Bible verse, from a police vehicle (video below).

Romans 13:4 states: "For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doth evil."

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The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF), which complained about the verse on a government-owned vehicle, stated in a press release that the decal is an "ominous Christian threat" that "violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment," and added: "[T]he job of the Harper Police Department is to protect and serve, not to mete out biblical punishments or divine anger."

Harper Mayor Scott Blubaugh told KSN-TV on June 24 that the city attorney was contacted about the decal.

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FFRF Staff Attorney Andrew Seidel, who wrote Murphy a letter calling for the removal of the decal, told the news station:

The First Amendment requires the government to remain neutral on matters of religion, and between religion and non-religion, and putting a Bible verse on a police vehicle is very clearly an endorsement of that particular Bible, and that particular verse and that particular religion.

The police department is charged with enforcing the law and upholding the law and upholding the Constitution, so we hope that they will act quickly to comply with the law and comply with the Constitution.

The Friendly Atheist notes that Murphy wrote a brief response to the FFRF on June 28: "The Harper Police Department has removed the decal 'Romans 13:4' from the city-owned vehicle it was on."

"This was a particularly obvious violation of the First Amendment for us to draw public attention to," FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor said in the press release. "Once that happened, the Harper Police Department quickly realized the folly of its ways."

Sources: Freedom From Religion Foundation, Friendly Atheist, KSN-TV / Photo credit: KSN-TV via YouTube