GROVETOWN, Ga. (WJBF)– All Grovetown police cars now sport stickers that say “In God We Trust,” but if you think that conflicts with the notion of separation of church and state, the mayor says it is anything but.
It all started last week when a business owner asked Mayor Jones if he could donate the stickers. When he said ‘yes,’ the mayor said he received a lot of feedback from Grovetown residents, but either way, he’s standing firm in his decision.
“History is on Grovetown’s side. The court’s are on Grovetown’s side and I certainly think God is on our side,” Mayor Gary Jones of Grovetown said.
It’s been America’s motto since 1956. You see these words on dollar bills, coins and also some car tags. Now, you will find those words on every Grovetown police car and soon on every fire truck.
Mayor Jones says some residents have complained that this mixes government with religion. He backs up his decision with the first amendment.
“The government is prohibited from establishing an official church. That’s not what we’re doing with this decal. Secondly, the Free Exercise Clause says the people will be allowed to worship as they please, so we’re not prohibiting any of that. The police officers are not going to respond looking only to Christians, which I’ve heard in emails, to answer calls to,” Mayor Jones explained.
I contacted Freedom FROM Religion Foundation, an atheist organization based out of Wisconsin that fights mixing church and state. A worker said Grovetown residents have called to complain, but nothing will be done unless a police officer speaks up and files a law suit.
I took the streets to see what tax payers think about the new decals that are on tax-funded police cars.
“Cursed is the nation that forgets God. Everybody else needs to join in. And I thank God and Mayor Jones for what he did,” Dr. Christine Green, of Grovetown, said.
“The fact that they believe in Jesus Christ makes me a lot happier if they’re coming to arrest me. If I’m doing something wrong, this guy believes in God, I want the wrath of God,” Rey Morales, of Harlem, said.
“God can be interpreted in many different ways, different forms. It doesn’t say a certain name, but it is one God for any religion,” Ryan Midla, of Grovetown, said.
I spent my evening in Grovetown, but no one had anything negative to say about the stickers.