Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton says that it is perfectly fine for “In God We Trust” to be displayed on taxpayer funded police cars from the Childress Police Department. This is despite the Constitution’s phrasing that our government shall not establish any religion or prefer any particular existing religion. It is right there in the First Amendment, clear as day.
Republicans are using some strange logic, because they are using the amendment that lays out separation of church and state, as the same one that they insist allows this to be done.
Paxton had the following to say regarding the issue:
There is an unbroken history of official acknowledgment by all three branches of government of the role of religion in American life from at least 1789. A law enforcement department’s decision to display the national motto on its vehicles is consistent with that history. Thus, a court is likely to conclude that a law enforcement department’s display of “In God We Trust” on its patrol vehicles is permissible under the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution.
Where do we begin with this mess?
- The national motto of “In God We Trust” was only added, unconstitutionally, in 1956 during the Communist panic, because it was a “known fact” at the time they were all Atheists.
- There is no unbroken official acknowledgement of the role of religion in American life, other than to say “keep it out of government and the public sphere.” It is literally written down in the First Amendment.
- A law enforcement department is exactly the kind of entity that the Founding Fathers had in mind, when they came up with the idea of Separation of Church and State. It is a publicly funded and elected government agency, and is not supposed to be preferring or endorsing a religion of any kind.
As if the display of nonsense from A.G. Paxton was not enough of an embarrassment for Texas, State Senator Charles Perry (R) and State Rep. Drew Springer (R), proved that basically all Texas Republicans have no clue about what the Constitution is or how it works.
Perry had the following comment regarding the issue:
Attorney General Paxton confirmed what I knew to be true all along – the use of our National Motto is protected speech. I hope this opinion gives law enforcement departments deciding to display ‘In God We Trust’ the clarity they need to maintain piece (sic) of mind.
They just can’t stop being stupid. An Attorney General is not a judge, and does not interpret laws. Neither is a state Senator, so everyone really needs to just stop talking. A governmental entity is NOT a person and it does NOT qualify for “protected speech” nor is it protected under the Free Exercise Clause. It is a police department, not an individual. We just finished settling this nonsense with Kim Davis and her personal freedom being the reason she can’t do her job properly. You do not get to use your personal beliefs to influence a public entity and call it freedom. Full stop.
To cap it all off, Texas Governor Greg Abbot penned a letter to A.G. Paxton offering his support to the police department for this “patriotic display.”
I guess that is the cherry on this ignorance sundae.
Featured Image via Childress Police Department