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Ala. Lawmakers Consider Bill To Give Megachurch Its Own Police Force

Alabama lawmakers are considering legislation to give a mega­church its own police force.

The Alabama Senate in April approved SB 193 that would allow Briarwood Presbyterian Church to create a police force “with all of the powers of law enforcement officers in this state.” The church police officers would have authority to patrol the church and its sizable properties in suburban Birmingham.

Calif. City Residents Oppose Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast

A flap over a mayor’s prayer breakfast is stirring up controversy in the city of South Pasadena, Calif.

The event drew attention because of involvement by local officials – although city leaders insist they didn’t organize the breakfast. According to the South Pasadena Review, City Manager Sergio Gonzalez told residents at a public city council meeting that despite its name, the event was private in nature.

A Long Con: Extremist Encourages Police To Profile Muslims

A self-proclaimed “former terrorist” with strong ties to the Religious Right recently provided a training session to Ocean County, N. J., police academy. According to the Asbury Park Press, Palestinian-American Walid Shoebat openly encouraged his audience to single out Muslims for special scrutiny. He also told aspiring officers to beware of Muslims taking martial arts classes as this was evidence they were preparing for jihad.

Ala. County Police Cars Lose Bible Verse Decals Following AU Intervention

Stickers with biblical verses will no longer be attached to police cars in an Alabama county, thanks to Americans United.

The Houston County Sheriff’s Department put stickers on its vehicles that read “Blessed Are The Peacemakers,” a Bible verse from Matthew 5:9. That message encircled the official badge of the department. After Americans United got word of this clear instance of government endorsing religion, it sent a complaint letter to the sheriff’s department in early August. (The Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation later sent a letter as well.)

God’s Police?: Missouri Police Department Adds National Motto To Cars

Greene County, Mo., police cars now read “In God We Trust,” and some residents aren’t pleased by the change.

In a letter to the Springfield News-Leader’s “Answer Man,” Laura Entwisle wrote, “I recently saw a Greene County sheriff's deputy's car with letters on the bumper that say, ‘In God We Trust.’ I called the sheriff's office and was told that Sheriff Jim Arnott decided to do this.”