Alabama’s Houston County Sheriff Donald Valenza said his “strong beliefs” inspired him to purchase a Biblical-focused decal for the back of his department’s patrol vehicles.
The decal, which quotes Matthew 5:9, reads, “Blessed are the peacemakers.”
“I’ve always had religious belief, and I feel like that’s kept me alive, he told the Dothan Eagle. “We’ve used that (quote) with (the special response team) for 15 years. It symbolizes the Houston County Sheriff’s Office.”
Valenza said the decals cost about $1.60 a piece.
Reaction to the stickers was mixed with comments both praising Valenza and telling him he was in violation of the U.S. Constitution.
“Thank you for the Biblical reference. I pray ACLU doesn’t make you remove it,” said one commenter.
“It absolutely is a church state issue. The Establishment Clause prevents any government entity from endorsing a religion in any way,” said another.
And another commented, “SO to the ones who think this is “unconstitutional” let me ask you this. If the quote “Blessed are the peacekeepers” came from another source, would you still argue? It’s a good quote whether it’s religious or not. It is truth. If the Bible address was left off, would it be an issue? Come on… give it a rest and stop living offended.”