Anger expressed over ‘In God We Trust’ decals on US city’s cop cars

Anger expressed over ‘In God We Trust’ decals on US city’s cop cars September 21, 2019

DESPITE strong opposition from residents in Ridgecrest, California, the council voted 3-2  this week to place decals bearing the phrase ‘In God We Trust’ on the city’s cop cars.

Images via YouTube

The push for the motto was led by  Vice Mayor Wallace Martin, an anti-cannabis campaigner, above, and supported by Ridgecrest Police Department Chief Jed McLaughlin, who said:

One thing I can assure you is that this will in no way affect how we serve the community. We will treat our residents the same way we always do – with respect. This will not change the way we respond to our citizens or those who visit our great city.

Martin, who said the stickers would be funded by donations, not government money, added the phrase has been included in historically significant songs and anthems, as well as on official currency  and that the phrase does not pertain to a single religion, ideology or party.

During a rancorous public comment period that followed, residents spoke mostly in opposition to the proposal.

“Please don’t do this,” said Scott Garver. He asked that his patriotism and service to country – which included two tours to the Middle East – should not be confused with Martin’s proselytising and disingenuous pitch for religion.

We all know what this is about here … This is a self-inflicted wound … this is not an appropriate use of the city’s time.

Sarah Wersan said that although she is a person of faith, worshipping at Temple Beth Torah, she does not believe the phrase represents her religion. She added that she believes there is a movement afoot to make America a Christian nation, and that violates the religious freedoms upon which our country was founded.

Gary Burgner expressed appreciation of McLaughlin’s assurance that RPD policies and attitudes would not change, but took issue with Martin’s statistics showing that some 90 percent of Americans believe in “a higher power”. He said he believes that the action was part of a disturbing trend in government that officials have to endorse a majority opinion in order to earn public trust.

Stop trying to come down on the side of the majority. You probably don’t have the firm ground you think you have.

David Burdick. said:

If its not going to change anything, than why do it?

Mary Ann Arnold noted that we live in divisive times.

This is a little thing where I feel like we are going down the wrong path.

She said that patriotism should not be connected to a belief in God. She suggested that patriotism would not be enhanced by the addition of the decal.

Renee Westa-Lusk said that although she is a Christian, she still upholds the principle behind separation of church and state.

But supporter Ron Merrill insisted that the decals were reminder that the freedoms we enjoy are granted by God and that this belief is rooted in the founding of our nation.

And Loren Culp said he was “very much in favor” of the action and that “we’re going too far away from Our Lord.”

Mayor Pro Tem Lindsey Stephens, whose Facebook page says she’s “pro-life” and supports the anti-gay hate group Focus on the Family, said that the First Amendment doesn’t say anything about the separation of church and state. She added that the Founding Fathers did not intend for that separation to prevent them from acknowledging a divine influence – and she read a series of quotes from early architects of the Constitution that directly reference a higher power.

You can clearly see they never intended that they didn’t want religion involved in government. I agree with Loren Culp. Our country is moving too far away from our original roots … it’s part of our heritage, it’s part of our country, we are proud to put it on our police cars.

Mayor Peggy Breeden said she was conflicted. Although she expressed her Christian faith, she said it was not the council’s job to dictate belief.

As someone said, it’s a self-inflicted wound.


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  • Duncan R. Bryson

    I thought I’d read something about this in the US flag code so I downloaded it and screenshot the relevant section. Read (g).
    A court case in the offing? https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ff42c12efb56254ce0af5e42f44829039ce0f274045b4e15e61c1abe8b63fe05.png

  • Duncan R. Bryson

    I thought I’d read something about this in the US flag code so I downloaded it and screenshot the relevant section. Read (g) – a court case in the offing? https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/5a2a729fe4ceb34594ae8b4236a83924bd7234e444e74912d8ec19c87a6426d9.png

  • Jim Jones

    They really must be Christians. They support their position with lies.

  • ephemerol

    One thing I can assure you is that this will in no way affect how we serve the community. We will treat our residents the same way we always do – with respect. This will not change the way we respond to our citizens or those who visit our great city.

    Which he somehow felt the need to say because yeah, HE sees this change as a veiled threat, from the police to certain of its residents (who ought to know who they are), but no, YOU (you know who you are) should totally not interpret it that way at all!

  • Michael Neville

    Just more Christians marking their territory just like does peeing on trees.

  • Broga

    ” “we’re going too far away from Our Lord.””

    This is gibberish. How far is too far? What would not be too far? What is meant by “Our Lord”? What we have here is the usual claptrap which is not intended to be understood. It is aimed at causing a knee jerk veneration with no thought, no questions and the implication is that no “good” person would disagree. Those who make these statements and those who accept them live in a miasma of superstition and quell their insecurity by persuading themselves that they are favoured by God.

  • kaydenpat

    Vote out the council members who voted for this nonsense and then remove the decals.

  • Bezukhov

    But does God trust those cops?

  • BarbieG54

    I’m sorry , but this country was built on Christian values. We have become the greatest Nation in the world. One Nation Under God. Turn your back on God and you will see the fall of the United States of America.

  • Thanks4AllTheFish

    You’re in an atheist blog BarbieG54. We haven’t turned our back on God. How could we? To us, there is no evidence that such a creature exists, therefore it is impossible to turn our backs on,…what?

    Oh, and this country wasn’t built on Christian values. It was formed in spite of Christian values and other than our economy and military might, we are far from the Greatest Nation in the world.

    – The United States currently ranks 128th in the Global Peace Ranking.
    – Switzerland is ranked as the number one country in the world. The US of A ranks 7th.
    – Luxembourg is the richest country in the world.
    – The smartest country is Japan. The US of A ranks 4th.
    – The US of A ranks 169th in infant mortality rate lagging behind countries like Serbia and Sri Lanka. The higher rate in the US has been blamed on a lack of accessible healthcare and the lack of a quality social safety net in general. Low-income families and children in the United States are especially vulnerable to infant mortality.
    – The US o A is listed as Critically Insufficient in addressing climate change along with Russia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey & Ukraine. Just pitiful!
    – France has the best social safety net, spending 31.5% of its GDP. The US of A doesn’t make the top ten.

    So I guess what I’m saying here is that it is easy to puff out your chest and proclaim that The US of A is the greatest country in the world, but when you examine the evidence, there seems to be some serious shortcomings. Sort of like a belief in God without any evidence of one existing. Why do you suppose that some of us value evidence and others merely are motivated to believe?

  • Raymond Metcalfe

    Was it Christian values that pushed the original inhabitants almost to extinction? was it Christian values that used slaves for so long. Was it Christian values that kept the former slaves and there descendants in poverty and as second class citizens for so long? If you are a nation under god why then do other countries who don’t make this claim flourish? Sorry but your post is just more narrow minded Christian propergander

  • Broga

    Congratulations on your comments. Sadly, they will have no effect on Barbie who is wading through the religious and toxic mental sewer and has been conditioned to imagine she is in pure water. Your efforts are still worthwhile as they – yet again – demonstrate the destructive attitudes and behaviour of the religious right in the USA.

  • Thanks4AllTheFish

    Thank you.

    I knew before posting that I was dealing with another stable genius after reading his/her comment history.

    The blatant superficiality of the religious right and their sycophantic pandering to white nationalism and jingoism, frankly mystifies me as I was raised in a middle class, benignly religious, politically moderate household. Most of their comments are so divisive in an “I got mine, so f__k the rest of you” kind of way that I wonder when fellow Americans became the enemy?

    We used to be able to have differences of opinion or differences in approach that could be worked out through examination of the prevailing evidence, formulation of a workable plan mostly agreeable to both parties and positive action and follow-up to ensure that the plan operates as expected in execution. Now it’s the policy of “my way or the highway” and either nothing gets done due to stalemate or one side just rams their policies down the other side’s throat and damn42 the consequences. I dunno, but that seems like a bad way to run a railroad, let alone a country.

  • Lauren Greene

    You should apologize for your ignorance of history.

  • Rann

    Bullfeathers!!!! I’m not a citizen of the USA but have heard enough over the northern border to know you’re full of uncomposted mall cow manure. Christian values???? That’s actually funny!

  • Old Harry

    The freedoms Americans enjoy were granted by the same God who anointed George III, whose supporters murdered their way through the American South in the Revolution and whose money paid for mercenaries to keep the colonies under the thumb of the Crown.

    The freedoms Americans enjoy were so God-given that they had to be codified into actually enforceable secular law by the Constitution and Amendments, after winning a war against a Divine Right king.

    The freedoms Americans enjoy include being as thick as a whale omelette while riding out the prosperity wave from the destruction of all other economic competitors in WWII, using American bombs and other munitions.

    That sort of sums it all up whenever the American Middle Class is involved.

  • Old Harry

    Sorry, Barbie, but Ken is asking where’s his beer and his dinner.

    You need to toddle off like a good Christian female and do your duty.

    By the way, who left the screen door open, again?

  • Old Harry

    Why does he need to trust them?

  • Old Harry

    Ridgecrest is such a great city that the US Navy knows if they accidentally leave a crater outside the bounds of China Lake Naval Air Weapons Station there will be no great loss to the Nation.

    Ridgecrest is such a great city that its second biggest press comes from the earthquakes God keeps sending to the area, I’d suppose because it is such a great place to live, like Tornado Alley, further East.

  • ephemerol

    Had occasion to drive through that area recently, and it reminded me of how Buzz Aldrin described the moon: “magnificent desolation.”

  • Bezukhov

    I always thought trust was a two way street.

  • alverant

    “but this country was built on Christian values”
    Name six, except for oppressing people.

  • Michael Lindholm

    Personally, I think that motto sounds like Yoda created it.

    Second of all, I think it needs to be stricken from the official record, removed as the motto and “E Pluribus Unum” – THE ORIGINAL MOTTO, INTENDED BY THE FOUNDING FATHERS – restored as the ONLY motto. “In God We Trust” is divisive. E Pluribus Unum is unifying.

  • Michael Lindholm

    They love to claim that America is a “Christian Nation” because of the way the Founding Documents were dated (In the Year of Our Lord), and barring that, they cite the Mayflower Compact – the “constitution” of the Colonies – as proof, despite that document’s supercession by the Declaration of Independence.