The police chief of Childress, Texas, has refused to remove the "In God We Trust" decals from police patrol cars, telling the atheist Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) to "go fly a kite."
In a letter addressed to FFRF co-president Annie Laurie Gaylor, Childress Police Chief Adrian Garcia said, "After carefully reading your letter, I must deny your request in the removal of our Nation's motto from our patrol units, and ask that you and the Freedom From Religion Foundation go fly a kite."
FFRF earlier asked the Childress Police to remove the decals as it violated the Establishment Clause of the Constitution.
On "Fox and Friends" on Wednesday, Garcia said the decals were put after the death of Texas law enforcer Darren Goforth, who was shot 15 times at a gas station last month, according to Fox News Latino.
"With all the assaults that are happening across America on law enforcement, I just felt that it was time to have somewhat of a rally cry. And what better thing to say it than have our national motto on our patrol units," said Garcia.
The FFRF has sent at least 30 letters to police departments in the US that have the "In God We Trust" stickers on their patrol cars.
Texas Sen. Charles Perry and Rep. Drew Springer have expressed their support to Garcia.
"I stand firmly with Chief Adrian Garcia and the Childress Police Department as they protect their right to display 'In God We Trust' on patrol cars," said Perry in a statement. "We live in a country with a rich history of celebrating faith and honouring religious liberty. It is un-American to suggest a police department should not be allowed to display our national motto."
Springer, according to Eyewitness News 3, said "Our law enforcement officers work hard to keep our communities safe and deserve our support, not demands like this."
"We are in the middle of a spiritual battle in America right now, with the issue of religious liberty front and centre. I am proud of Childress Police Department for standing strong," he said.