A defiant Texas police chief who responded to atheists’ demands that he remove “In God We Trust” decals by telling them to “go fly a kite” has inspired yet another law enforcement official to add the nation’s motto to his department’s patrol vehicles.
Hunt County Sheriff Randy Meeks announced on Tuesday that he added “In God We Trust” decals after hearing Childress Police Department chief Adrian Garcia’s public message to atheists imploring them to “go fly a kite.”
Meeks said that he, too, would tell the Freedom From Religion Foundation — the activist group that has been taking aim at “In God We Trust” decals across the country — to go “butt a stump,” a phrase that essentially means “go away.”
“I wish I’d thought of it first,” Meeks told KLTV-TV. “We can give [officers] bulletproof vests, we can equip them with the best guns, but ultimately when they go out there in the field and risk their lives, it’s really in God’s hands.”
Meeks, who posted “In God We Trust” decals on 16 vehicles, said that the response has been positive thus far, though he admitted that he’s received “a few negative comments” over the fact that $1,000 was reportedly spent in taxpayer dollars to order the decals.
The sheriff said that he isn’t worried that groups like the Freedom From Religion Foundation might demand the removal of the decals.
“I believe the First Amendment gives us the right to worship our creator the way that we want to, our country was founded on God,” Meeks said. “It’s time for us to make a stand and get back on track.”
As TheBlaze previously reported, Garcia, head of the Childress Police Department in Childress, Texas, wasn’t willing to entertain atheists’ demands that the nation’s motto be removed from his patrol vehicles, so he responded to the Freedom From Religion Foundation last month.
“After carefully reading your letter I must deny your request in the removal of our Nations motto from our patrol units, and ask that you and the Freedom From Religion Foundation go fly a kite,” he wrote in a one sentence response that was posted on the department’s Facebook page.
Dan Barker, co-president of the atheist group, told TheBlaze in August that the Freedom From Religion Foundation “would love to sue over a case” involving the “In God We Trust” decals. The group has sent letters to sheriffs offices across America demanding the removal of the decals.
“We can’t predict what we’ll do next,” he said, speaking of a separate case in Walton County, Florida. “Even if we wanted to sue we have to have a plaintiff there who’s willing to sign on.”