Religion

Mississippi Police Department Promotes God, Bible Verse

| by Michael Allen
Eupora Mississippi Police CarEupora Mississippi Police Car

The police department in Eupora, Mississippi, showed off some "In God We Trust" bumper stickers affixed to police squad cars and quoted the Bible on July 14.

The police department posted pictures of the cars and wrote a caption on Facebook:

EPD patrol cars receive "In God We Trust" bumper stickers along with new patrol car design that will be fazed in over time.

Chief Gregg Hunter - "I am proud to announce that all of the Eupora Police Department Patrol vehicles will now have 'In God we trust' on the back. This became our National Motto in 1956 and is on all of our currency. There has been no better time than now to proudly display our National Motto! Also, the design on our new 2015 Ford Police Interceptor Utility, which is completely redesigned, will slowly be phased in on all new EPD patrol vehicles. I'd also like to thank Lowell Hitt and Kay Embry for all of their help and support with this project."

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But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him." Jeremiah 17:7.

In response, the Freedom From Religion Foundation sent Hunter a letter on Aug. 8 that mentioned the post, as well as other religious incidents, notes the Friendly Atheist:

Furthermore, EPD’s Facebook page features several other religious posts. For example, its cover photo instructs readers to "PRAY FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT." On July 20 and July 26, the EPD posted photos of gifts that it received from local churches.

One post included a message from the church, which contained a verse from Ephesians 1:16. Finally, many posts implore the public to pray with EPD regarding violence against police officers. Enclosed are screenshots of several of these Facebook posts.

The FFRF, a nonprofit that advocates for separation of church and state, cited numerous court cases and said the police department's actions were a violation of the Establishment Clause in the First Amendment.

The FFRF concluded its letter with:

We ask that you refrain from posting religious messages on EPD’s official Facebook page, and urge you to remove "In God We Trust" from all EPD vehicles. The EPD should respect the rights of conscience of all citizens, including non-Christians and others who in good conscience reject belief in a god. Please inform us in writing of the actions you are taking on this matter. We look forward to a reply at your earliest convenience.

No word if Hunter has replied to the letter.

Sources: Eupora Police Department/Facebook, Friendly Atheist, FFRF via Dropbox / Photo credit: Eupora Police Department/Facebook

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