The word
The phrase "Lord" was scrubbed from the monument, causing massive backlash from the faith community.

"Thou shall not utter the Lord's name in vain" is one thing, but what are the rules for erasing it entirely?

That's the question faced by a South Carolina city that's still trying to recover from a high-profile controversy involving a memorial to fallen police officers that was installed on city property.

The stone memorial in Tega Cay, SC featured a scripture reference from Jesus' famous Sermon on the Mount on the front, and this police officer's prayer on the back: "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."

That prayer drew immediate complaints from residents concerned the "Lord" references effectively favored one religion over others. The city's attorney warned the monument lacked the historical significance of other hotly contested memorials across the country and therefore needed to be changed.

So the city decided to seek a compromise: they kept the monument up but scrubbed the word "Lord" from the inscribed prayer.

When Toeing the Line Goes Wrong

Needless to say, this did nothing to calm tensions. In fact, it only made things worse. Many Christians accused the city of turning its back on faith and causing tremendous insult to the fallen officers and their families in the process. How dare they remove the name of the Lord just because a few atheists complained? Has America really drifted so far from Christ that this was deemed a reasonable solution? critics asked.

After the backlash didn't let up, city officials decided to take the monument down entirely, lamenting their failure to handle the situation in an effective manner.

"We attempted to find a compromise but failed as our community has further divided," declared the Tega Cay City Council on Facebook. "In an attempt to find a resolution, we have upset parties on both sides of this issue and for that we are truly sorry."

And On the Third Day...

After this embarrassing incident, city officials went back to the drawing board. Despite the initial complaints about a religious prayer being displayed in public, they recently decided to bring back the monument in its original state - prayer and all:

Religion on Public Property

This certainly is not the first argument over religious symbols on public property. But it's an interesting case in that it was litigated entirely in the court of public opinion, as opposed to a legal battle. Public officials were forced to change course, then abandon their plans, then reverse course altogether when the outrage refused to subside.

What do you think? Was the removal of "Lord" from the inscription a reasonable solution that people overreacted to, or was it legitimately offensive? Did the city make the right decision in restoring the monument?


  1. kimberly's Avatar kimberly

    That is a biblical misquote. Uttering the Lord's name as in cursing using "god" wasn't the commandment. Taking (not uttering) the Lord's name in vain was to prohibit a person from falsely claiming to be a "son" of God. Or, in effect claiming to be a representative of God. A "name" was a patriarchal term that was the equivalent to being the firstborn Son. It was in modern vernacular a surname. Every pastor, minister and evangelist today disobeys this commandment. And doesn't have the biblical understanding to know it.

    1. Thomas Nsnomantube's Avatar Thomas Nsnomantube

      You are correct about the commandant being misinterpreted. To expand upon your comments it also would include using the lord's name as justification for why you are taking actions, making changes or doing things that hurt other people but better yourself. Examples may include: Killing In The name of The Lord, enriching yourself saying God wants you to have it, or saying that we must take guns away from law-abiding citizens because God doesn't want anymore children murdered . Basically using God's name to justify any actions taken that aren't explicitly based upon values defined in the Bible. I find it very interesting ,when people are doing God's work or following the values set Fourth in the Bible they very seldom have the need to say God wants me, or needs me to do this. Or I'm doing this in the name of the Lord. It seems that when evil people are doing evil things that's when they invoke the name the Lord to use as justification for their actions.

      1. Jeffrey Frye D. D.'s Avatar Jeffrey Frye D. D.

        Well, I'm glad I'm not alone in noticing the same thing!

    2. Rev. Rene's Avatar Rev. Rene

      And thank you, Kim, for expanding our knowledge of biblical interpretation. It has so often been misused!

  1. Don's Avatar Don

    "causing tremendous insult to the fallen officers and their families"

    Breaking News - many of the fallen officers and their families are not Christians. Some were even atheists. Funny how none of the Christians were worried about offending THEM. Hypocrisy at its finest.

    1. Oh Mo's Avatar Oh Mo

      Don, how many were not christian? How many were atheists? Funny how you make up "facts" you have no first-hand knowledge of. Hypocrisy at its grandest.

      1. Don's Avatar Don

        Unlike most theists, I made nothing up. If the answer to your question is MORE THAN ONE, your insulting response is moot. Any other silly questions?

      2. Don's Avatar Don

        I have plenty of first-hand knowledge of non-religious law enforcement officers, especially in the Southwest United States.

        Please stop accusing others of hypocrisy, at least until yours isn't quite so blatant. Thank you.

        1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

          I can support you in your statement Don. My wife works with Law Enforcement in LA County in Southern California. Many of those she works with are atheist/agnostic.


  1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

    I’m sure they were originally referencing Lord Krishna ?


    1. kimberly's Avatar kimberly

      Lion...….its really no different than book burning. Were you in El Paso or Dayton? I've lived in both places. Used to party down in the Oregon District and worked right next to the Cielo Vista Mall.

      1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

        Nope! Never been to either place.


      2. Oh Mo's Avatar Oh Mo

        Quite a bit different from book burning.
        A - it's not a book and nothing was burned B - it violates our constitutional right to be free from anyone forcing their religion on us C - El Paso, Dayton, or any other city - whether you've been there or not - with any problem has nothing to do with the issue.
        D - IF your presence has something to do with the problem, that makes you the problem

  1. Lori's Avatar Lori

    A little forethought might have been a good thing prior to putting it up, but that rarely happens when it comes to things like this. It sounds they will use better judgement in the future...... maybe.

  1. Sue Nicholai's Avatar Sue Nicholai

    people are tired of others trying to change things to fit what they want.

    1. Mary Shaw's Avatar Mary Shaw

      I agree, I'm one of them. It's become tedious and boring.

  1. Dr.Rev. Annie's Avatar Dr.Rev. Annie

    They would have been better off just changing the monument completely. I think leaving it as is with one word removed could seem inflammatory.Someone wasn't thinking.

    1. Minister Clare's Avatar Minister Clare

      Indeed, they were not thinking. However, it is interesting to note how easily offended some people can get, especially atheists. Perhaps they are harboring a secret fear that there really is God! That is only said half in jest. Maybe some become atheists because they do not realize God loves them, as He loves us all, and would love for us to find Him in each of our hearts; He is there, and just waiting! So instead of insulting anyone, or casting blame or shame, let us all consider praying for all concerned! Blessings and Cheers to all! Minister Clare

      1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

        It’s not a question of being offended, it’s a question of abiding by the Constitution. Why do religionists have a problem with that? Is it in fact religionists that are offended when the Constitution is brought to their attention?

        If you want to believe in your imaginary god, and talk to your imaginary friend, that’s totally up to you.

        I think you might find that people become atheists, especially after having been involved in religion like myself, because they have become educated and left their indoctrination behind.


      2. Don's Avatar Don

        "So, instead of insulting anyone" - interesting that you say that right after insulting a group of people. Hypocrisy always seems to go hand-in-hand with religious belief. Why is that?

  1. Bob's Avatar Bob

    The State should simply stay out of the religion business...and that includes references to God, etc. Government's function is to provide for civil stability and an effectively run society. We have other institutions well suited to address our religious needs. The Constitutional limits on government were well thought out - keep religion and government separate.

    1. Thomas Nsnomantube's Avatar Thomas Nsnomantube

      Bob, What you were stating is a common modern misnomer about the Constitution. Our founding fathers were very religious men and believed in God in the Bible. The separation of church and state was specifically designed to keep the occurrence of a Church of England from happening in the United States. This was where the ruler/state established a church and forced all citizens to become members of that church. It was not intended to say God, religion, are the Bible were not part of our values, Constitution or Nation. if you read any of the letters written by the founding fathers this is very very clear. In fact you need to read is the first Thanksgiving proclamation made by George Washington approved by both houses and I believe at their request. Thanksgiving is not about pilgrims, Plymouth Rock, kind Indians, open borders our diversification. Thanksgiving was 100% related to giving thanks to God almighty the blessings that he has bestowed upon our nation and for allowing us the opportunity to build his Nation under his name.

      1. Derek's Avatar Derek

        That is completely untrue. Thomas Jefferson is well known for having a copy of the bible on hand that had any and all references to a supernatural god removed from it. It's known today as the Jeffersonian Bible. Additionally, several of the founding fathers explicitly wrote that the United States was a completely secular nation and that religious liberty was an individual right and that the government had no place in religion and vice-versa. See for supporting evidence.

  1. Oh Mo's Avatar Oh Mo

    The memorial should be removed because it is religious. Doesn't matter which one, it address a god. Take it down and build a new one that does not include references to a supreme being.

  1. Dan Renfro's Avatar Dan Renfro

    Can't believe they'd allow such a blatant insult to God. Sickening!

    1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

      Is it really possible to insult a man made mythical god? Just asking!


  1. A druid's Avatar A druid

    This happens to be an incursion of state into religion that just fails to injure my sensibilities. Must we really make the Policeman's Prayer submit to the lowest common denominator, or can't we just accept it as the motivational creed intended to make them better cops? Our money says we trust in the money god. Why not let the police, who live in a world of hierarchy, have a lord whom they wish to impress with their good deeds? Just wondering.

  1. Randy C Hamilton's Avatar Randy C Hamilton

    We have so many clear violations of the 1st Amendment, including this one. Cops represent the state. MORE examples. " help me God." at the end of oaths from the President's to juror's. WRONG & WRONG. Moronic bible verses on the walls of courtrooms. An opening prayer each time congress shows up for "work." That one costs $500,000 a year!!! "In God We Trust" on money!!! Nothing represents the state more than our currency.

    1. Randy C Hamilton's Avatar Randy C Hamilton

      To Thomas N: Lie to yourself, but do not lie to me ora about the Founding Fathers!! The Founding Fathers were atheists. Geo. Washington said, "The United States of America should have a foundation free from the influence of clergy." Thomas Jefferson said, "Questione with boldness even the exixtence of a god." SMALL g. Ben Franklin said, "The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason." and, "Lighthouses are more helpful than churches." John Adams said' "This would be the best of all possible worlds, if there were no religion in it." also, "The United States of America is in no sense founded on the Christian Religion."

    2. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

      One does not have to say "So help me God", or mention God at all when swearing on oath.

      The person swearing on oath can place their hand on a copy of the Constitution if they so wish and say the words "I do so affirm" instead of "So help me God"


  1. Secretary3rd's Avatar Secretary3rd

    With so many faiths that is in this country it is hard to keep ones views out of public view. I have Mother and will upon my death will be in the After Life. You have a God and if all is well with you and you die Heaven is where your soul will end up in. Others beleive in a lot of other faiths so if a city wants to put their beleif in stone why should I care.

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