The words “God enriches” could soon be showing up in classrooms across Arizona.
The state Senate recently voted to allow educators to post Arizona’s national motto — the latin phrase, “Ditat Deus,” which translates in English to “God enriches,” as The Christian Post reported.
The text of SB 1289, which passed in a 17-13 vote along party lines last week, adds the motto to a long list of proclamations and documents that “a teacher or administrator in any school … may read or post in any school building.”
Some of the other items on the list are “In God We Trust,” the national anthem, the pledge of allegiance, the preamble to the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, among other important documents.
Critics are speaking out with claims that allowing the English translation of the motto is an attempt to sneak God into public school classrooms. But state Sen. Gail Griffin, a Republican who sponsored the bill, said that displaying the English translation of the term is, in practice, “a good history lesson for students to learn where this came from,” according to The Arizona Republic.
The Secular Coalition for Arizona, a First Amendment group, noted that state Sen. Juan Mendez, a Democrat, had spoken out against the bill, questioning why the Latin language in the state motto was suddenly being presented in English.
“After having a Latin motto for 155 years, is there a reason to suddenly start posting this specific English translation in our public schools?” Mendez said. “Educators should be supporting kids in all their diversity, not evangelizing privileged religious beliefs of legislators.”
It is unclear if the bill will clear the House and head to Gov. Doug Doucey’s desk for signing.
As Faithwire previously reported, Florida, too, is considering bringing God back into public school classrooms.
The Florida House of Representatives recently passed a bill in the wake of the deadly Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting that would require all schools and administrative buildings to display a powerful message: “In God we trust.”