ICC Note: Kansas’ Harper Police Department recently received a complaint from the Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF) regarding a decal on one of its patrol cars. The decal referenced Romans 13:4, but did not include the text of the verse. After a local contacted the FFRF about the matter, an official letter of complaint was issued, citing the unconstitutional nature of the decal, and the decal was removed by the police department shortly thereafter.
By Heather Clark
07/04/2016 United States (Christian News Network) – A police department in Kansas recently removed a Scriptural decal from a patrol vehicle after receiving a complaint from a professing atheist group.
The Harper Police Department had placed a decal on one its vehicles that simply read “Romans 13:4.” The verse, which speaks to the role of government as ordained by God, reads, “For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.”
But the Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF), which was contacted by a local citizen—whose name was left anonymous—took issue with the stickers, asserting that they were a violation of the Establishment Clause of the United States Constitution. The Clause reads, “Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”
FFRF sent a letter to Chief Doug Murphy to urge him to remove the Bible decals.
“It is inappropriate and unconstitutional for a government entity to display such a decal on its property because it displays a preference by the HPD—and by extension, the City of Harper—for religion over non-religion and Christianity over all minority faiths,” the correspondence read.
The organization also took issue with the selection of Scripture.