Childress is the county seat of Childress County, which shares its eastern border with Oklahoma. For a small town, Childress boasts ten churches – three Baptist, two Methodist, two Church of Christ, one Central Christian, one Catholic, and one Lutheran.
This is cotton and cattle country, and the people here are simple folk who live with the land, work hard for a living, and raise their kids to be God-fearing Christians. It's not surprising, then, that no one in Childress found anything amiss when Childress Police Chief Adrian Garcia decided to place "In God We Trust" decals on the town's police cars.
Someone else, however – someone from outside Childress and from outside the culture of Childress – took umbrage at the display of our country's national motto on public vehicles. The officious Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) sent Chief Garcia a letter requesting that he remove the motto from his police vehicles since it violated the (alleged) "separation of church and state" provision of the First Amendment to the Constitution of 1787.
Let's be clear about one thing right up front. There is no "separation of church and state" requirement in the United States Constitution. The very first words of the First Amendment—and the only words treating of religion – are, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; ..." In other words, the federal government is prohibited by the Constitution from establishing a state religion or from interfering with my right to exercise my religion in private or in public.
Anti-Jesus freaks focus on the first phrase and loudly (and ridiculously) contend that any religious display on government property constitutes the imposition of a state religion. In doing so, they completely ignore the second phrase, which prohibits the government from interfering with my right to display religious context on public property.
Besides, when James Madison penned those words in 1789, they were obviously intended as a restriction on the federal government, not as a prohibition against nativity sets on the court house lawn.
The Muslim-in-Chief, Imam Obama, has of course violated the second provision of the First Amendment with the un-Affordable Care Act, but the point here is that the FFRF has no Constitutional basis on which to sue police departments for displaying "In God We Trust" on their squad cars.
Being cognizant of this act, Police Chief Garcia wrote back to the FFRF: "After carefully reading your letter, I must deny your request in the removal of our Nation's motto from our patrol units, and ask that you and the Freedom From Religion Foundation go fly a kite." (Note that Childress Police Chief Adrian Garcia is not the same Adrian Garcia who stepped down as Harris County Sheriff in May and is now running for Mayor of Houston.)
The absence of any defensible legal basis for an assault on moderation and decency has never, of course, deterred the left from their hell-bent crusade to remake the world in their evil image. And the Freedom From Religion Foundation is no exception.
Dan Barker, co-president of FFRF, told a major news network that they "would love to sue over a case involving the In God We Trust decals." He lamented, however, that, “Even if we wanted to sue, we have to have a plaintiff there who’s willing to sign on.”
The chances of that happening in Childress Texas – or anywhere else in Texas (with the exception of "Little Baghdad" in southwest Houston) – is slim to none.
Until then, I suppose, Freedom From Religion will have to content themselves with writing poison pen letters – and maybe taking kite flying lessons.