Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Tuesday 18 May |
Saint of the Day: St. John I

After atheists protest, Knoxville police to remove plaque at HQ because of Bible verse

Deacon Greg Kandra - published on 07/26/17

Details: 

“If God be for us, then who can be against us?”

Generations of Knoxville Police Department officers have passed by a plaque with that bit of scripture as they headed out to fight crime. Now, the sign is being taken down after an atheist organization based in Madison, Wis., demanded it be removed, the USA TODAY NETWORK-Tennessee has learned.

“I have walked through those doors for a lot of years and that sign has been there giving me strength, encouragement and comfort to do this job,” KPD Deputy Chief Cindy Gass wrote in an email to KPD employees announcing an official ceremony for the removal of the plaque set for 9:30 Friday morning.

City Law Director Charles Swanson said Tuesday that the East Tennessee chapter of the Freedom From Religion Foundation filed a complaint about the plaque, which quotes Romans 8:31 and is located on a wall near an employee deli. It is not in the public areas of the Safety Building, where KPD is headquartered on Howard Baker Jr. Boulevard.

At a Wednesday news conference, Knoxville Police Chief David Rausch said the plaque would be moved to a new Hall of Inspiration that the department will create inside the Safety Building.

Swanson said the city could have defended the plaque in court against the group’s claim it violates principles of separation of church and state. But he said he agreed with Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero’s position not to spend taxpayer money to fund that defense.

“We could argue in favor it keeping it, what’s the real point?” Swanson said. “I don’t think it was in a place where the public could see it. But it certainly didn’t seem like it was worth financing a fight.”

Read more.

Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
SAINT MATTHIAS
Philip Kosloski
Why Matthias was chosen to replace Judas as an apostle
2
ascension AND ASSUMPTION
Philip Kosloski
Ascension vs. assumption: What is the difference?
3
ascension of Jesus
Philip Kosloski
Was Mary present at the ascension of Jesus?
4
BENOIT JOSEPH LABRE
Larry Peterson
Benedict XVI called him “one of the most unusual saintsR...
5
KNEELING
Philip Kosloski
How to pray the Divine Praises
6
I.Media for Aleteia
These 30 shrines will lead the Rosary Relay for end of the pandem...
7
Eric Clapton, Luciano Pavarotti, East London Gospel Choir
J-P Mauro
Hear Clapton and Pavarotti sing a prayer to the “Holy Mothe...
See More