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Town votes to remove ‘In God We Trust’ from police cars

The department will also have to remove Bible quotes from its Facebook page


Haven Police Department

We asked Police1 readers whether law enforcement agencies should remove “In God We Trust” decals from their police vehicles. A huge majority, 85%, said “NO!” Share your opinions in the comment box below.

By Suzie Ziegler

HAVEN, Kan. — The Haven Police Department will remove “In God We Trust” decals from its police vehicles, KSN News reported Tuesday.

The change came after a city councilor voiced concern about the vehicle decals and the scripture quoted on the department’s Facebook page. Council Member Sandra Williams said during a meeting on Monday that she didn’t think the Facebook page was the proper place to be talking about God. Williams and Police Chief Stephen Schaffer had a “brief exchange” during the meeting, according to the report.

Williams then made a motion to remove the decals and scripture quotes. A second councilor seconded the motion, and it was passed unanimously.

Mayor Adam Wright said police will need to remove the decals and quotes by May 16.

There have been no police posts that contain scripture quotes since the meeting, although a pinned post from March 6 quotes a line from Psalm.

Police1 Readers Respond

  • I wonder if those same councilors would forgo all their earnings because the currency they receive their paychecks in has the same motto on it?
  • “In God, We Trust” is printed on our currency; it shouldn’t bother anyone that it’s on the cars. I have no issue with the council asking for the department’s Facebook page not to have verses. I think there’s some compromise, but the way this council is handling this subject will only cause pushback from the officers and a large portion of the public.

  • Petty. Absolutely petty. I’m not a churchgoer nor am I religious but really, is this hurting anyone? Is having the motto “In God We Trust,” whether it’s on the side of a building or the side of a patrol car, pushing a religious agenda? No, it’s not. This is micromanagement at its best. It’s sad that in a society where our children, family members and friends are dying from so-called “legal” drugs such as Fentanyl, crime is at all-time highs and cities are cutting budgets for law enforcement, city councils are wasting time and resources on petty issues like this. Grow up.

  • Sandra Williams needs to be removed from the council along with the member who seconded her motion. This is God’s country and I for one am sick and tired of people trying to remove him from our lives.

  • I think that this is absolutely ridiculous and should not be allowed to be voted on. Part of the First Amendment, if people would take the time to actually educate themselves on it, was created to prevent the government from getting involved in religion, not to keep religion out of government. This is an obvious fringe on First Amendment rights and should be treated as such in my opinion. God bless all in blue!

  • I read the article about Haven, Kansas voting to remove “In God We Trust” from police cars. I also, with a very heavy heart, read the reader responses to this article.

    As most know, “In God We Trust” was added in the 1950s mostly in response to communism. It supplanted “E Pluribus Unum,” which had been around since 1776 and which is much more inclusive and much more American in its tenor.

    The inclusion of ANY religious dogma in government or public policy is not only anti-American, it is dangerous. People only agree with the inclusion of this phrase because many of them agree with the phrase – they are theists of some kind. But it’s not the subject that people should be focusing on, it’s the APPLICATION of religious sentiment into the public discourse that is the problem. Individually, we have the right to believe whatever we want. We have the right to worship in our homes and private buildings and with our own private groups any way we want. But really think about what allowing religious ideas into legislation or PUBLIC policy means:

    You go to the store and buy shrimp and bacon. At the register, the cashier refuses to allow you to buy those items because the clerk is Jewish and does not want to be complicit in your obvious violation of God’s law as enumerated in Leviticus.

    You apply for a building permit for your house. The permit is denied because the inspector will not allow any homes to be built that have electricity in them. The inspector is Swartzentruber Amish and it would be a violation of her deeply held Christian beliefs to allow you to use electricity.

    A Muslim man beheads his 13-year-old daughter while she sleeps because she was raped and therefore brought dishonor to the family (this actually happened in May 2020 in Iran). The man is arrested for murder. The DA, who is also Muslim, immediately dismisses the case and the man walks free. The DA, who has the same strongly held religious beliefs as the father, sees no issue with the murder and refuses to prosecute – as is his right and within his power as a DA.

    In McCook, Nebraska or any other town USA, the city council members become majority Hindu. Because of their deeply held religious beliefs, they enact a city ordinance that beef may not be sold or consumed within city limits.

    It’s easy to see where the application of religion is clearly un-American when we don’t agree with the religious idea. But again, it is not the idea that is the issue – it’s the application of a religious idea in public discourse that is the issue.

    I’m not sure why religion gets a “pass” in the public sphere. We all have the right to listen to whatever music we want, but that right stops when a person imposes their music on another (you can’t blast your music from your house so loudly as to interfere with another’s right to NOT hear your music). We all have the right to say whatever we want. But that right ends where words cause demonstrable harm to another (defamation). We all have the right to pursue happiness. But that right ends when your happiness involves having sex with another person that does not consent. We all have the right to make a fist and swing our arms around forcefully. But that right ends when your swinging fist impacts another’s face.

    We have lots of rights and lots of ability to do what we want in this county. But none of those rights and privileges are absolute – they all end when they interfere with someone else’s right to NOT be subject to whatever you’re doing or saying. Society would not function unless this was true. So why, then, do we not extend this to religion?? Your right to eat or not eat what you want cannot be trumped by my religious belief that what you are eating is an abomination. If I don’t want to eat bacon, that’s my choice which should not be imposed on any other person. If I only eat fish on Fridays, that’s my personal choice. It should in no way be public policy or legislated that all people must eat fish on Fridays. And for exactly the same reason, if I’m a man and want to marry another man, that’s a choice made by me and my partner – it is not to be restricted based on someone else’s religious belief. If they don’t want to be in a same-sex relationship, no one is forcing them to.

    Having “In God We Trust” on police vehicles seems innocuous to those that agree with the sentiment. But to those of us that don’t, seeing that on a police car is frightening. I do not want police, at any time, to be swayed by religious dogma because I might not agree with their religious views. I want them to uphold the Constitution. I don’t think anyone would want police vehicles with “Allah be Praised” on them or “Ganesh Rocks.” These are ALL inappropriate on police vehicles or, in my opinion, anywhere in government. And I don’t want to be forced to ride around in a vehicle all day that says “In God We Trust.” I don’t believe in that phrase (and actually think it’s harmful) and should not be forced to advertise it in my workplace.

    But again, the point is not whether I agree or disagree with this particular slogan, it’s whether I agree or disagree with the application of ANYTHING religious in government affairs. The answer to that question is a resounding NO! And as Americans, a country that is not and has never been a theocracy, and is not and has NEVER been a Christian nation, we should all be united in this sentiment.