SIDNEY, Ohio — One of the nation’s most conspicuous Church-State separation groups has written to a sheriff’s office in Ohio to claim that the “For God and Country” patches worn on deputy uniforms are unconstitutional.
The Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) sent a letter on Wednesday to the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office to request that the patches be removed. It provided two photographs of the patches as worn on official uniforms.
“It is inappropriate and unconstitutional for the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office to promote or endorse religion,” the correspondence, written by Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor, read. “Anyone viewing these patches would understand the sheriff’s office to be endorsing religion and a belief in a God.”
“Displaying ‘For God and Country’ on sheriff’s deputy uniforms demonstrates a preference for religion over non-religion on behalf of the sheriff’s office,” she asserted. “These religious patches convey a message to non-religious citizens that they are not favored members of the political community.”
FFRF also contended that deputies who might not believe shouldn’t have to wear a message they don’t agree with, or stick out as an unbeliever by not wearing one.
“We strongly urge you to keep in mind your obligation not to promote or endorse religion, and we ask that you remove these patches from Shelby County Sheriff’s Office uniforms,” the letter requested.
It is not yet known whether or not Sheriff John Lenhart plans to respond.
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