One Florida Sheriff appears to be putting the phrase “In God We Trust,” in many places as possible.
Last month, Bay County Sheriff Frank McKeithen placed a “In God We Trust” sticker on every patrol car in his department. Then, this week, McKeithen announced that the county has a new theme song as well: Diamond Rio’s “In God We Still Trust,” Patheos documents.
While no one has yet to comment on the latest incident, many groups and people were critical of the sheriff’s earlier decision to paste stickers on the patrol cars. The Freedom From Religion Foundation sent McKeithen a five-page letter expressing their criticism and the American Civil Liberties Union likewise condemned him. Both groups claimed that the stickers promote religious belief.
However, according to McKeithen, those opinions do not affect him at all. As he explained, “Our jobs are different -- we work on morals and ethics. And what better way to display it,” the Washington Times reports.
“It’s just right now it seems like in our country law enforcement has been painted with a brush that we’re bad guys,” the sheriff told The Washington Post. “So I was trying to think of something that might set a fire to our guys. We want to be proud and we want people to be proud of us, and we know we’re better than how people portray us.”
The stickers have popped up across the country on other police officers’ patrol cars as well. In Missouri, Stone County Sheriff Doug Rader explained that he got the idea from a sheriff from another county in the state.
“There has been no better time than now to proudly display our national motto,” Rader said to the Stone County Chronicle, according to The Washington Post. “I’m very humbled at the amount of support behind it.”
However, criticism of the sticker movement continues. In Florida’s Walton County, Sheriff Michael Adkinson placed the stickers on his cars and received a similar letter to McKeithen’s from the Freedom From Religion Foundation. Yet, just like McKeithen, the sheriff’s stance remains firm.
“If the Freedom From Religion Foundation wishes us to take them off our vehicles I suggest that they get a judge’s order or a new Sheriff,” Adkinson wrote in a letter, reports NWF Daily News.