An atheist organization celebrated after forcing a Wisconsin police department to remove a prayer card hanging from its wall this week.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation called the decision of the Onalaksa Police Department to remove the “Police Officer’s Prayer” a “victory for the Constitution,” reports the Christian Broadcasting Network.
“We’ll take that as a victory for the Constitution,” says FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor. “Nonbelievers in Onalaska will now feel fully included, as they should be in our secular state.”
The prayer in question asks for safety and protection from the Lord as each officer makes their way through the day.
“Lord, I ask you to be with me in a very special way as I face the challenges that I must face each day,”the prayer reads. “…And when duty calls to danger walk closely by my side. Instill in me great courage and be my strength and guide.”
The FFRF demanded in a January letter that Police Chief Jeffery Trotnic remove the prayer as it violated the Constitution. The group said a resident brought it to their attention and complained about the presence of the prayer.
“By endorsing belief in a god, the Onalaska Police Department sponsors a religious message, which is ‘impermissible because it sends the ancillary message to . . . nonadherents’,” the group’s legal fellow wrote in the letter.
Trotnnic wrote back in mid-April to tell the group the sign had been taken down.
The FFRF praised the decision, saying that police officers must appear to be unbiased to the citizens they serve. The police department did not return request for comment.
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