Many South Carolina residents are upset after all instances of the word Lord on a stone memorial outside a South Carolina police station were covered with plaster.
A women’s club in Tega Cay, South Carolina, gifted the city’s new police station with the stone to honor fallen officers. The front of the memorial includes the Scripture reference of Matthew 5:9, which is often referred to as the Law Enforcement or Peace Keepers verse.
On the back of the stone is a prayer frequently referred to as the “Policeman’s Prayer,” which reads: “Lord, I ask for courage—courage to face and conquer my own fears, courage to take me where others will not go. … Give me, Lord, concern for others who trust me and compassion for those who need me. And please, Lord, through it all, be at my side.”
City Manager Charlie Funderburk said the memorial was designed after the National Law Enforcement Memorial in Washington, D.C.
Shortly after the memorial was delivered and installed on July 12, city officials started receiving complaints about the religious inscription. One of the first complaints came from city resident Dann Dunn during a Tega Cay City Council meeting on July 15. Dunn told the council that he supports the memorial and police officers, and even believes in God, but he does not believe religious references should appear on government property.
The city council did not take an official vote, but after multiple negative social media comments from city residents, and after speaking with the police department, the council decided to cover all references to Lord with plaster.
There was immediate backlash. In fact, Funderburk said, there are just as many people upset now that Lord is covered as there were by the original language of the prayer. “There is no win here at all.”
Fox News contributor Jonathan Morris told “Fox & Friends” on Tuesday morning, “What they are trying to do is erase the Name and the voice of God in the public square, and that is not good for our country.”
South Carolina Congressman Ralph Norman also disagreed with removing the word Lord from the memorial: “Our creator gave us our God-given rights. The last time I checked it was one nation under God. To have this scratched out is sad, to say the least. That’s why we’re fighting in Washington, D.C., to put God back in public buildings like this, put God back in our schools. This is sad and never should happen.”
Fox 46 Charlotte reported that some residents are circulating a petition in support of the original memorial to present to the city council, and a prayer gathering is scheduled for Saturday.
Photo: Courtesy of U.S. Congressman Ralph Norman