In March, Montgomery County, Virginia sheriffs’ vehicles were graced with some pretty special decals which read, “Blessed are the peacemakers…Matthew 5:9.”
But wouldn’t you know it, after receiving an inquiry on the decals from the Roanoke Times, during National Police Week, the county board of supervisors ordered the Sheriff to remove the decals on May 17, 2017.
The board consulted their attorney, who allegedly told them “the decals would be a violation of the First Amendment based on the current case law because of the reference to Matthew 5:9.”, before giving the order to strip the vehicles of the blessed saying.
“In my mind, there’s nothing wrong with the statement itself,” supervisor Chris Tuck told Fox News’ Todd Starnes. “Any individual can put that on your car however they would like. However, based on our legal advice, when you put, ‘Blessed are the peacemakers’ and make the reference to Matthew 5:9, there are some serious concerns about the Establishment Clause and Separation of Church and State and the First Amendment.”
“I don’t believe the citizens of Montgomery County want me to get into a situation where hundreds of thousands of dollars of tax money may end up having to be given to the ACLU,” he said.
“Our intent was, and still is, to honor our fellow brothers and sisters in law enforcement,” Sheriff C.H. Partin wrote in a statement to Fox News.
“In the midst of National Police Week, we want to focus on those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice while serving their communities,” the sheriff said. “The last thing that I want is for this to become a distraction to the men and women who serve their communities selflessly every day.”
Classy sheriff, but what do you think of the board of supervisors? Do you agree with their decision to remove the decals?