Austin, TX, October 12, 2015 – Today, Gov. Greg Abbott sent a letter to Texas Atty. Gen. Ken Paxton supporting the Childress Police Department’s display of “In God We Trust,” the national motto, on patrol vehicles. The atheist organization, Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF), has threatened to sue the police department, for displaying the national motto. Senator Charles Perry and State Representative Drew Springer have requested an attorney general opinion on this matter and have expressed their concern over “frivolous lawsuits” against law enforcement over settled areas of law.
Gov. Abbott stated, “There can be no doubt that courts in Texas would uphold the constitutionality of the Childress Police Department’s decision to place “In God We Trust” on the department’s patrol vehicles. If the Childress Police Department chooses to continue this patriotic display, it will have my full support…Misguided and malicious threats have become routine for groups like the FFRF…As you [Atty. Gen. Paxton] recently observed in a letter to the lieutenant governor, ‘attacks on religious liberty harm not only those of religious faith, but [they] are a threat to the freedom of conscience of all Americans.’ These attacks are becoming even more common. I am grateful that under your leadership, the Office of the Attorney General fights to vigorously defend rights that are so important to all Texans, including the right to live and work in accordance with their moral values and religious beliefs.”
Texas Values President and Attorney Jonathan Saenz stated, “Texas is blessed with leaders like the Childress Police Department, Governor Greg Abbott and Atty. Gen. Ken Paxton who refuse to allow religious freedom to be trampled on or stripped away by baseless intimidation tactics that attempt to silence our First Amendment Freedoms. “In God We Trust” is our national motto that has been firmly embedded in our nation’s history and stood the test of time. We join the Gov. in proudly standing with the Childress Police Department as they exercise religious freedom and display our national motto.”