FFRF Contacts Atlanta, Texas PD about Motto

The has sent a letter requesting that the Atlanta, Texas Police Department remove the phrase “One City Under God” from their patrol vehicles. According to the letter, obtained by The Original Motto Project, the Atlanta City Council authorized the phrase to be place on patrol vehicles back in November of last year.

The FFRF claims that the phrase is a violation of the establishment clause, saying in the letter that “[i]t is inappropriate and unconstitutional for a government entity to display a religious message on its property because it conveys a preference by the Atlanta Police Department – and by extension the City of Atlanta – for religion over nonreligion.”

This is going to be a tough one for the FFRF because the courts have continuously upheld that phrases like “” and “Under God” are ceremonial deism and do not violate the establishment clause. “One City Under God” is clearly based on the line “one nation under God” in the pledge of allegiance.

Nevertheless, we all know what that such mottoes are taken quite seriously and quite literally by the cities and towns that use them. When they say God, they don’t mean some vague deistic god that only serves a ceremonial purpose. This is yet another instance of religious privilege and theistic preference showing itself in government.

You can read all of the FFRF’s here:

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*Update October 20th 2016*
The Atlanta Police deparment responded saying they will not be removing the decals.  The FFRF is willing to take this case to court providing they can find a plaintiff with standing.  If you or someone you know is willing to come forward and they live near this area contact the FFRF and let them know.

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Image: Atlanta Texas Police Department / Facebook

Thomas Essel

Thomas Essel is an outspoken secular activist and serves as Assistant Director for The Original Motto Project. Thomas also writes for the Patheos Atheist blog Danthropology and his work has appeared in the Springfield News-Leader. You can contact Thomas at: Thomas@originalmotto.us