Bumper Drive Leads to Repeat O-fenders
The buzz is usually about who's *in* police cars — not what's on them. But that's all changed after the explosion of the national motto bumper stickers cropping up on vehicles across the country. No one knows exactly how it started, but since mid-summer, it's become a national phenomenon. In Illinois, Kentucky, North Carolina, Missouri, Texas, Florida, and other states, policemen are combatting the negativity about law enforcement by proudly sticking "In God We Trust" on their fleets.
The buzz is usually about who’s in police cars — not what’s on them. But that’s all changed after the explosion of the national motto bumper stickers cropping up on vehicles across the country. No one knows exactly how it started, but since mid-summer, it’s become a national phenomenon. In Illinois, Kentucky, North Carolina, Missouri, Texas, Florida, and other states, policemen are combatting the negativity about law enforcement by proudly sticking “In God We Trust” on their fleets.
Florida’s Bay County Sheriff Frank McKeithen thought the idea was so great that he offered to pay for 200 of them out of pocket. But he never got the chance. An anonymous donor stepped up to buy hundreds for the local stations — a trend that’s continued in counties all over America. “I’m not hiding from the fact that it’s religious, and I’m not trying to make an excuse for the fact that it’s religious,” McKeithen said. At his agency, he explained, “We still pray. We pray before we go to a horrible situation where we think someone could get hurt or killed.”
And they aren’t alone. In Missouri, Stone County Sheriff Doug Rader made no apologies for the move. “There has been no better time than now to proudly display our national motto,” Rader explained in a post that’s had more than two million views. “I’m very humbled at the amount of support behind it.” As usual, the spoilsports at Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF) are desperate to put the brakes on the craze. But so far, they haven’t had much luck. The initiative is so popular that the Foundation was forced to hunt for an offended party in blast emails. “Specifically,” they wrote in a recent all-call, “we’re searching for police officers and sheriff’s deputies who are being affected by this — these bumper stickers — and being forced to drive around cars that proclaim religious belief.”
In the meantime, the group has sent more than 50 cease and desist letters to law enforcement agencies across the country. If that was supposed to scare people like Texas Police Chief Adrian Garcia, it didn’t. “Go fly a kite,” he wrote back. Another station fired back “NO” in big letters.
In Bay County, another one of the Foundation’s targets, a reporter asked if Sheriff McKeithen would pull down his viral videos after FFRF’s legal threat. Actually, he shrugged, “I plan on adding a few more.” In most cases, the stickers were donated by local citizens. But even that didn’t satisfy the secularists. “The fact that these stickers were privately funded indicates that you know it is inappropriate for the government to fund religious statements.”
Of course, the irony is that the government has been funding religious statements since 1957 — on our currency. The national motto didn’t suddenly become unconstitutional just because it’s on a police car instead! Texas’s Lt. Governor Dan Paxton agrees. This week, he released a formal opinion responding to the Foundation’s complaint. “There is an unbroken history of official acknowledgment by all three branches of government of the role of religion in American life from at least 1789.‘ (Lynch, 465 U.S. at 674.) A law enforcement department’s decision to display the national motto on its vehicles is consistent with that history. Thus, a court is likely to conclude that a law enforcement department’s display of 'In God We Trust’ on its patrol vehicles is permissible under the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution.”
Good for him! Surely, America’s police force has more important things to respond to than a petty lawsuit. While the fringe groups like FFRF try to recruit people for their intimidation campaign, most people agree with Sheriff McKeithen: “Morals and ethics [are] … what law enforcement’s supposed to be about.” With reminders like this one, he hopes more people are convicted — in a different kind of way.
Military under Sexual Siege
Despite millions of dollars in new programs, military sexual attacks are through the roof — and after the latest study, Congress may be too! As alarming as the sexual crisis in the military is, the American Psychological Association believes it’s much worse than the government is letting on.
Based on its own research, the APA thinks the Defense Department may be covering up the real numbers, which suggest “rates of military sexual trauma among men who served… as much as 15 times higher than has been previously reported.” If that were true, it would translate into 180,000 male-on-male sexual assaults each year — with more than 57,000 of them qualifying as rape. In a shocking new analysis, leading psychologist Sean Sheppard of the University of Utah told the Washington Times that “the survey methods for the official military study were remarkably loose.”
If the Association is right, it paints a frightening picture of the Obama Pentagon — which is not only denying the fallout of its policies, but far worse, denying our servicemen the treatment and help they need. For years, the DOD has shrugged off the possibility that repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) would have any impact on the ranks. Now, four years into this brave new world, it turns out that conservatives and the dozens of military leaders who fought the change were right. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand that when Congress introduced even more sexual tension into the ranks, it put thousands of our brave men and women into a defenseless and compromising position.
The White House has spent Barack Obama’s entire presidency sexualizing the military, beginning with the repeal of DADT — and continuing with the push for open transgenderism. Now, Defense officials are racing to reassure people that they’re doing everything they can to get to the bottom of these issues — only to inject more policies that accelerate both. They put political correctness ahead of national security and then seem surprised when the people who protect us are at risk.
The Pentagon downplayed the effects of open homosexuality when it was implemented in the military in 2011 — something it will certainly have a tough time doing now. Until that changes, and the administration gets serious about the root problems, every service member will be a victim of this sexually-charged environment.
The Incredibly Shrinking Continent
Europe is in crisis, but one of a different sort than we usually see in the headlines — a crisis of population. Our friends at the pro-life Population Research Institute note that “The United Nations Population Division projects that between 2005 and 2050, the continent will lose 93 million people, imploding from 725 million to 632 million. Even Western Europe, despite a continuing influx of childbearing immigrants, will see a significant decline in numbers.”
European leaders are getting concerned, which is why this week FRC’s Dr. Pat Fagan traveled to Hungary to speak at the Budapest Demographic Forum, which is being hosted by the Hungarian government. The Demographic Forum will be attended by heads of census offices from across Europe, as well as many high level government officials, including some cabinet members, from European Union countries.
Fagan was asked to present the factual case that the intact married family that worships God weekly is the greatest creator of social and economic goods in the world. His presentation emphasizes one key social science fact: the only social science variable that points to fertility at or above replacement level is weekly worship of God. Fagan argues that Europe has a choice: return to weekly worship of God or face a long-term replacement by historically non-European populations. As he points to what the social sciences demonstrate: To have a vibrant population, grow the young intact married family that worships God weekly. Then, all social factors begin to fall into place and all social outcomes begin to improve.
As Fagan said earlier this year at a speech to the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, “To strengthen marriage and the family, society must stop looking to government for solutions and instead affirm the three people-forming institutions: Family, church and school.” God’s design for the family, whether in North America, Europe, or anywhere else, works. And no government can ever change it. For more, check out FRC’s new MARRIpedia, our new online encyclopedia of social science — available here.
This is a publication of the Family Research Council. Mr. Perkins is president of FRC.