I remember more than once being outraged over the way Christian chaplains were ordered to hide their crosses while stationed in an Islamic country, or at the military burning Bibles. We’ve come quite far since then.
From the Independent Sentinel: “Texas Politicians to Police: No Reading the Bible at Lunch and No Displaying the National Motto Either.”
What do you think of a politician telling you what you cannot read at lunch? How about politicians banning the National Motto?
A group of police were holding bible study for interested officers on their lunch hour in the City of Beaumont in Texas but the city manager and attorney decided to ban it because they were praying in public buildings.
The practice has been going on for two years.
It’s been reversed – maybe.
After officers and their lawyer threatened to sue, the city council found religion so to speak and will allow them to study the bible on their lunch but they can’t use government equipment to invite other officers to join them or do anything.
City buildings are public and there was no legal reason for the ban, but a lot of leaders are control freaks and still others are anti-religion. Then there are the cowards who cringe when they get one nasty letter or one adverse phone call.
“There’s nothing wrong with having religious speech within these buildings,” said the police officers’ attorney Briscoe Cain. “In fact, just because they’re a public employee, this form of speech at that time is actually private speech and the government cannot censor this kind of private speech.”
The change of heart then came.
“City Manager Kyle Hayes advised me that he had reviewed applicable case law and police officers will be allowed to continue to meet in the Police Department conference room if it’s available during their lunch hour and hold bible study,” Councilman Getz told KFDM News. Getz says Hayes informed the attorney for the officers Friday afternoon.
“City equipment, such as computers, shouldn’t be used to send out emails about a matter that is private and not public,” said Getz. “But no one wants to infringe on civil liberties. We support our police and we want them to get all the prayers they can.”
The article also mentions that police vehicles can no longer carry the national motto, “In God we trust,” in other police departments.
I want to know if the cops are barred from all non-job-related content in their emails. Are they allowed to set up golfing tournaments or fishing trips on their email accounts? If so, the First Amendment (and common sense) dictates they can invite officers to a Bible Study.
Donald Trump says that this kind of garbage makes him angry. I get angry too.
There are far worse things the police could be doing on their lunch hour! At a time when many are complaining the police are unaccountable, knowing that a number of the police regularly remind themselves that they will all answer to God should be good news.