Houston County (AL) Sheriff’s Office Vehicles Now Say “Blessed Are the Peacemakers” and “Matthew 5:9”

We’ve posted a couple of stories on this site recently about law enforcement officials putting “In God We Trust” stickers on patrol cars. They get away with it because they can just hide behind the “It’s our nation’s motto” excuse… even though we all know they’re doing it to advance their religion.

But what the Houston County Sheriff’s Office in Dothan, Alabama is doing is unequivocally wrong:


Sheriff Donald Valenza bought new decals for all the department’s vehicles that say “Blessed are the peacemakers” and “Matthew 5:9.” They cost $1.60 each, presumably came out of the department’s budget, and are only there to promote Valenza’s faith:

“I’ve always had religious belief, and I feel like that’s kept me alive,” Valenza said. “We’ve used that (quote) with (the special response team) for 15 years. It symbolizes the Houston County Sheriff’s Office.”

“We have strong beliefs,” he said.

You have strong beliefs. That’s fine. Your department, however, has no beliefs.

This is, without a doubt, illegal government promotion of religion. How can Valenza enforce the law when he clearly doesn’t understand it?

No worries. I’m sure he’ll realize how the Constitution works soon enough. The Freedom From Religion Foundation tells me they’ve already sent a letter to the Sheriff.

(Thanks to Brian for the link)

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