A South Carolina city has scrubbed the religious reference from a new memorial dedicated to fallen police officers, following complaints.
A South Carolina city has removed all mentions of the word "Lord" from a memorial erected to honor fallen police officers. The memorial, outside the Tega Cay Police Department, was reportedly donated by a civic group, and is very similar to other such memorials around the country. The structure features a large stone which is inscribed on one side with a scripture reference - Matthew 5:9, an excerpt from Jesus's sermon on the Mount, and on the other side, with a prayer, according to Fox News. While the memorial has been installed for a couple of weeks, all instances of the word "Lord" were scrubbed out last week, following complaints from the community.
Tega Cay City Manager Charlie Funderburk told Fox 46 that he was surprised to find complaints coming into city hall almost as soon as the memorial was put up. Fox 46 reports that the city acquiesced to the change noting that the memorial was new and had no historical significance. "There was never any intent to hold one religion in higher regard to another, or one person in higher regard than another. It was a donation from a civic group," said Funderburk.
City officials told The Herald that complaints started with an email to the mayor from Tega Cay resident Dann Dunn, who spoke out against the monument wording at a city council meeting earlier this month. Dunn told the council that he wasn’t offended by religious references and is a church-goer. “What I do have a problem with is religious references on government property, especially law enforcement,” Dunn said, adding, “Public grounds and public services should remain secular and neutral for all members of the community -- all members -- so they should feel welcome here.” Dunn explained that the monument with religious references makes the city seem exclusionary and biased against non-religious members of the community.
Another liberal attack on God and Christian values. Isn't it about time for those of us who love their country and the principals it was founded on to stop this insanity.— Troy R Roeder (@ForceBuilders) July 23, 2019
This is just too much...... https://t.co/WITVOlXbcs
The city painted over the black letters of the words to match the color of the memorial. While the words can still be seen engraved into the stone, they no longer stand out in black. However, after the change, city hall is once again receiving complaints. People first assumed that vandals were behind the act, then realized it was an official decision. "There are just as many people upset now that it got removed over people upset it was there in the first place," lamented Funderburk. "There is no win here at all."
Are you with the “Lord,” or against it? The word’s been removed from a fallen #memorial outside the Tega Cay #Police Department in #SC. Complaints about “#Lord,” on it caused city leaders to take it off. But now that it’s gone, complaints about the word’s removal are starting. pic.twitter.com/P9wz7iHI6E— Amber Roberts (@AmberFOX46) July 23, 2019
People on social media are displeased by the removal of the word and have shared their opinions on the matter.
Tearing down and defacing monuments is how most all oppressive regimes started out... the mild mannered/easy going people just let it go... it is/was a fad... it will pass...— Darin Thompson (@darint117) July 23, 2019
Removing Lord is outragious! If a FEW don't like Lord, they DON'T HAVE TO read the memorial. Walk right on by! This was erected for the fallen officers, and NOT for people that NEVER wore the Uniform. If they don't like what it says, they can create their own memorial at home!— ggguidedm (@ggguidedm) July 23, 2019
Since the memorial was given to the police from a civic organization, maybe it should of been on private property...on the other hand, if they're going by the 1st Amendment, it says nothing about local towns, cities, counties or even the states from not having that memorial.....— AZ Sarge (@az_sarge) July 23, 2019