Diboll (TX) Police Chief Wants to Put Bible Verse on Uniform Patches

The Diboll Police Department in Texas isn’t satisfied with just putting “In God We Trust” on their vehicles.

They want a Bible verse on their uniform patches:

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Matthew 5:9 states “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.”

First of all, if you’re going to put a Bible verse on a patch, you might as well use the actual name. Don’t say “Matt.” Just go with a smaller font if you need to. What’s next? Verses from Zeke and Timmy?

Anyway, this is obviously a promotion of Christianity by the government. There’s no way around that. What’s amazing is that the Police Chief himself doesn’t recognize how putting a passage directly from the Sermon on the Mount on the patches might violate the law he’s supposed to be protecting:

“With everything that’s going on in the world right now and the attacks on police officers. You know, there’s officers being targeted and murdered throughout the states,” said Diboll Police Chief Steve Baker. “When I started designing the patch I wanted to kind of a reference to what we do.”

Then say “Serve and protect” or “Cops R Good” or “We’re not the racist ones.” But government officials can’t use their positions to endorse Christianity. I’m hopeful the department’s attorney will tell him that. (You can bet a lawsuit would be forthcoming if not.)

And what happens to cops who don’t want to wear the patch? Or non-Christians who are pulled over for a speeding ticket (or worse)? Will they be treated fairly? The patch implies otherwise.

This is all a sad reflection on Baker’s authority. If he believes a Bible verse on a patch will change public perception of cops — rather than improving the department’s own actions — he must be really awful at his job.

(Image via Facebook. Thanks to Brian for the link)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.