Cave City stands strong... Will not remove "In God We Trust"
Cave City has received an outpouring of support over the last few weeks after first designing and installing decals with the words, "In God We Trust" on their police vehicles. While they have received support from not only the community, but also regionally by law enforcement offices, the City of Cave City came under national scrutiny recently when the Wisconsin based Freedom From Religion Foundation wrote a letter to the city wanting Cave City and another, the Hemstead County Sheriff's Office, to remove the decals.
The nonprofit agency claimed in its letter, the message can offend non-Christians and subjects them to unwarranted prejudice. The foundation's co-president says she intends to sue if the phrase isn't removed, but didn't give further details.
After receiving the letter, the Cave City Police Department's Facebook page became flooded with comments of support and even a group setting up a fundraiser to help pay for potential legal fees and selling stickers that say and t-shirts to support the department.
On Aug. 25 Mayor Ron Burge and Chief Nate Stephens met and the chief offered this statement, "I have met with the Mayor and Sgt. Barnett. I have also read the letter that was sent to me from the Freedom From Religion Foundation. After meeting and discussing, "In God We Trust" will not be removed from the patrol vehicles. The letter stated that a "concerned citizen from Cave City" was offended by the national motto being placed on our vehicles. However, they have not been in to visit with me to express their concern. We truly appreciate all the support and I believe that it has been expressed that the majority not only approves of the lettering, but is also proud it's there."
The community continues to rally behind the department and others have adopted the saying including the city of Beebe. The Beebe City Council voted unanimously last week to display the words in 49-inch lettering in its meeting room.
While most have stood strong, Jonesboro Mayor Harold Perrin chose to remove the scripture from the Jonesboro E-911 Facebook page.
When the city first began to implement the lettering, Police Chief Nathan Stephens told KAIT that is when he first saw the quote on the Stone County Police Department's vehicles and decided it was time to put it on theirs. "And if there has ever been a time where the police departments need to trust in God, I believe it is right now," Stephens said. "Of course there are all these news stories about Ferguson and Baltimore and I have personally been in a firefight and when you come out of one of those you know you're trusting in God." Stephens said he has spoken with other police chiefs around Sharp County who are considering putting the quote on their cars as well.
The city has no plans to remove the decals and are overwhelmed by the support. Cave City officer John Marlow said, "I am absolutely amazed at the support that we are getting from the citizens of Cave City and folks all over the United States. I'm working today in Cave City for the police department and I could not tell you how many people that have stopped me and that I have talked to that are supporting CCPD and this cause for what we feel is only right! Not one person has asked me to remove "In GOD we trust" as a matter of fact it is the opposite! People offering donations to help with any possible legal support. I am just amazed."