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Texas governor says he supports Christian crosses on police cars

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The governor of Texas supports police putting cross images on their patrol cars, saying they are part of U.S. historical practices, and symbols of service, his office said on Friday.

Governor Gregg Abbott, a Republican, offered his support for the crosses in a brief filed to the state’s attorney general. He was responding to a sheriff’s office in Brewster County that received a complaint about images of a Christian cross with a horizontal thin blue line displayed on its patrol vehicles.

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“In addition to its religious significance, the cross has a long history in America and elsewhere as a symbol of service and sacrifice,” Abbott wrote, adding in his opinion, the display does not violate U.S. constitutional provisions preventing the establishment of religion.

The governor’s office did not respond to a request if Abbott also supported the display of other religious symbols on patrol cars.

Abbott said the cross has been used at revered places including the Arlington National Cemetery to honor the sacrifice of members of the U.S. Armed Forces and on military medals.

“The symbol of the cross appropriately conveys the solemn respect all Texans should have for the courage and sacrifice of our peace officers,” Abbott wrote.

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At the end of last year, the Brewster County Sheriff asked state officials if his deputies in the sprawling and sparsely populated west Texas county could keep the cross decals displayed on the rear windows of their patrol vehicles.

The request followed a complaint by the Freedom From Religion Foundation which called on the sheriff to remove the crosses, arguing no government official has the right to promote his or her religious belief on government property.

“Whether it is a cross, a star and crescent, or a pentagram, law enforcement must remain neutral on matters of religion in order to foster public confidence in their impartiality,” the nationwide group that promotes the separation of church and state, said in a statement.

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(Reporting by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Andrew Hay)


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Kellyanne Conway lashes out at Democratic voters as ‘racist and sexist’ at Ohio GOP dinner

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Making an appearance at a Republican Party dinner in Columbus, Ohio, Kellyanne Conway accused Democratic voters of being "racist and sexist," in a diatribe as she tried to boost the fortunes of her boss, President Donald Trump.

According to a report from Cincinnati.com, Conway attacked the leading Democratic presidential nominees before making her claim.

“Their top three candidates are white, career politicians in their 60s and 70s, which I have nothing against except they (Democrats) certainly do,” Conway reportedly told the crowd. “I don’t know why the heck the Democratic party electorate is so racist and sexist. I can’t figure it out.”

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Betsy DeVos’ DOE threatens to cut university funding for positive portrayal of Islam

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The U.S Department of Education threatened to pull federal funding from a Middle East studies course jointly run by Duke University and the University of North Carolina because it portrays Islam too positively.

The DOE ordered the universities to change their program or lose its federal grant money. In a letter to UNC, the department criticized the program, arguing that topics like Iranian art and film have “little or no relevance” to the Middle East studies program. The letter also argues that the program “appears to lack balance” because its programs are not focused on the discrimination faced by “religious minorities in the Middle East," including Christians and Jews.

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Wall Street is ignoring the omens of recession — here’s why

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The Federal Reserve seems a lot more concerned about the state of the economy than it’s been letting on.

The Fed lowered its target interest rate by a quarter point on Sept. 18, the second such cut since July – and the first reductions since the Great Recession more than 10 years ago.

Judging by the words of Fed Chair Jerome Powell, this isn’t that big a deal. In his statement following the decision, he said: “We took this step to help keep the U.S. economy strong in the face of some notable developments and to provide insurance against ongoing risks.”

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