Sunday, August 23, 2015

"IN GOD WE TRUST" on Missouri Sheriff vehicles

(more on the Jasper County Sheriff's Office adding "IN GOD WE TRUST" decals to government vehicles)

Let’s forget for a moment that this is or may be considered a religious statement.  Let’s forget for a movement that (while dubious) court findings have upheld the legality of the US motto.  Let’s look at the community and the goals of the Sheriff’s Office.  

What is the goal of the decals?  Is it a governmental attempt to promote the god of Abraham, Isaac and Moses?  Even if it were, I doubt anyone will admit this is the official position.  Will it improve officer safety, use of force or judgement?  Is it an attempt to pander to voters with a Christian majority?  Perhaps, but for the sake of argument let’s assume that’s not it either.  It seems clear this is a Public Relations move.  And that’s how it is being presented.  What is the intended effect on relations with the public?   Is it to make some feel more in touch with law enforcement officers, alienate and offend some portion of the community and go largely unnoticed by most?  I doubt that is the intent but that is exactly what is happening.  An attempt to improve public relations is pleasing some (presumably those least in need of improved relations), having little or no effect on many or most and alienating and offending a minority.  As a Public Relations maneuver it seems to have run contrary to its intent.

This is a divisive issue.  That should be clear from the volume and content of the commentary from people in the community. While putting the IGWT decals on government vehicles pleases many people, bores many more and obviously offends some others.  And for what gain?  Public relations?  I’m sorry but you’re doing it wrong.

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