“You are Under Arrest in the Name of Jesus!”

Life in Texas is many things, but it is never boring. You can always count on zealous Bible-beaters, uh, our duly elected state officials, that is, to liven things up. Our governor Greg Abbott wants crosses on police cars:


Note that his justification only mentions the religious significance of the cross in passing. Chiefly, the cross is a symbol that supposedly elicits the deepest respect from Texans. But if he wanted a symbol that reflects what Texans really most deeply care about, he should favor putting a dollar sign, an oil well, or a football on the patrol cars. Maybe a picture of a chicken-fried steak. Seriously, the cross is, of course, an important symbol for many Texans, and that is fine. Believe me, there is no dearth of crosses and other Christian symbols on display in Texas. Still, a fundamental distinction seems to eternally elude our governor and his ilk, the distinction between private and public property. Police patrol cars are public property. They belong to the public–ALL of the public, not just Bible believin’ Christians. Police patrol cars belong to me and all other non-Christian Texans exactly as much as they belong to the Rev. Ed Young, Pastor of Houston Second Baptist Church (Now at five “campuses!”). In that case, what right does any police department have to display the most distinctively Christian symbol? What could the real purpose be other than to proselytize or browbeat? Again, Governor, what part of “public” do you not understand? You do not appear to be a stupid man, so why does this basic distinction always elude you?