'In God We Trust' Decals Patriotic, Not Religious Creek County Sheriff Says
CREEK COUNTY, Oklahoma - The Creek County Sheriff's Office is outfitting its fleet with a phrase that has some choosing sides.
The sheriff said the plan is to put 'In God We Trust' decals on all detective and deputy vehicles, but he said the four words are not about religion.
Creek County Sheriff Office vehicles have long been outfitted with the state seal and the American Flag, now another emblem has been added, reading 'In God We Trust.'
The decals started going on the vehicles last week, but Sheriff John Davis said it’s not for religious reasons.
“This is patriotic,” he said. “It's our national motto. It's not that the Creek County Sheriff's Office is trying to impose or force religious beliefs on anybody.”
The saying actually is the national motto and has been since President Eisenhower declared it so in 1956 after the phrase had been on U.S. currency for nearly 100 years.
The sheriff said that symbolism is why he wants the words on deputy vehicles.
“The way our country is now, we need all the patriotism we can get,” he said.
Davis said his office has gotten mostly positive feedback, and many people we spoke with agreed.
Sapulpa resident Crystal Wall said, “It's just a decal on a car, it's not forcing anybody to do anything they don't want to do.”
“I'm all for it. It's kind of what our country was founded on, so I have no complaints at all,” said Tulsa resident, Elliott Sumrall.
But, there are some complaints on Facebook.
Natalie Schirmer said, "I am concerned by your overtly religious decal on your vehicles...do you see how this could be seen as a hostile signal to nonbelievers?"
And Michael Robinson said, "I don't want my government to trust God. I want them to be trusting intellect and the rules set forth by our constitution." He added, "Disclaimer: I am a Christian."
Davis said, “If I have an employee that comes to me and says 'I don't want it on the car that I'm assigned.' I don't have a problem with that. Then I'll allow them to make that decision whether or not they want it on that car.”
The appearance of "In God We Trust" on U.S. money was challenged in the federal courts several years ago. It was rejected by the lower courts and the Supreme Court declined to review the case.
The sheriff said no taxpayer money went toward buying the decals, he said they were all donated.