City Ignites Outrage by Removing ‘Lord’ from Memorial to Fallen Police Officers

City Ignites Outrage by Removing ‘Lord’ from Memorial to Fallen Police Officers

A South Carolina town might have been hoping to avoid controversy over a memorial to fallen police officers when it decided to edit out a crucial word.

But it just ended up drawing more attention — and outrage — to itself.

According to The Charlotte Observer, officials in the Charlotte suburb of Tega Cay took the word “Lord” out of the inscription of “A Policeman’s Prayer” on the memorial after receiving a complaint from a resident who objected to the combination of religion with a public amenity.

The city also removed a scriptural reference to Matthew 5:9: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.”

At a July 15 City Council meeting, Tega Cay resident Daniel Dunn said he attends church and doesn’t object to religious references.

But he said he did have a problem with religion on government property.

“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 said, according to The Observer.

In response, the city physically blotted out three references to “Lord” on one side of the monument.

“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,” City Manager Charlie Funderburk said, according to WJZY-TV.

“On the front of the monument was text that read, ‘Matthew 5:9,’ which is often referred to as the ‘Law Enforcement’ or ‘Peace Keepers verse,” Funderburk told the station. “On the back of the monument is the Policeman’s Prayer. In the prayer, the word ‘Lord’ appears three times.”

Tega Cay Police Lt. Jay Parker told The Observer that the city decided to remove the religious references on both sides.

Obviously, a lot of people are unhappy with the decision. Police officers are often the unsung heroes of our era, and often get nothing but grief — or worse — for their efforts.

As one woman told WJZY:

“I mean, it was a beautiful monument with a beautiful little prayer on it. I would have left it as is,” she said.