A Minnesota lawmaker is seeking to have the motto “In God We Trust” installed in every school in the state. A State Senate Committee held an informal meeting on the bill Tuesday, but it has already garnered plenty of criticism.
Proponents of the legislation argue that something drastic needs to be done in order to recenter the country’s young people on the truth of God, but critics have deemed the measure unconstitutional.
“God and country is no longer lifted up in a place of honor like it once was,” said Sen. Dan Hall, who is backing the bill, as reported by CBS. “And in part, it seems to be eliminated from our schools. There are those who are afraid to even bring up God and country in our schools.”
But those opposed to the installations are concerned about the potential merging of Church and State, which they believe would be fundamentally unconstitutional.
“It’s not the state’s business, and it’s not the school’s business, to be taking sides in this very personal decision,” said August Berkshire of the Minnesota Atheists.
Opposing Democrats are adamant that such a bill should not be allowed to through the state legislature.
“I’m wondering if Sen. [Dan] Hall would feel the same if students walked in and instead of the word ‘God’ the word ‘Allah’ — which is the word for God in the Muslim religion — welcomes students to their schools,” Sen. Scott Dibble said on the state Senate floor, according to Fox News Insider.
“The money in my wallet has to say ‘In God We Trust.’ I think that’s offensive,” Sen. John Marty added.
The legislation would be part of an amendment to an omnibus education policy bill, which allows schools to display the motto on a poster — all through private funding. Sen. Hall explained to “Fox & Friends” that he anticipated some opposition, but did not expect it to be so severe.
“I just figured the opposition would be really short,” Hall said. “When I started hearing more and more of this I thought, really? They don’t want it that much in their schools.”
“My whole premise was, how about bringing respect back in the schools? We’ve lost a lot of respect for those things in life that we should be respecting,” he added. “We need to bring respect back to our country.”
Minnesota law already requires schools to display an American flag and to say the Pledge of Allegiance at least once a week. Despite the opposition, CNS News reported that the amendment passed the Senate on a 38-29 vote.
“Too often God and Country are seen as subjects of jokes or ridicule,” Sen. Hall said following the vote.
“Our national motto can bring us back to a freedom of faith, even in our schools,” he added. “This amendment allows our U.S. national motto ‘In God We Trust’ back on the walls of our schools, as a reminder of hope and tolerance.”
Meanwhile, well-known atheist Michael Newdow is again seeking to have the “In God We Trust” motto removed from U.S. currency, citing constitutional violations. But thousands are pushing back against the rising tide of “anti-faith” sentiment, and are determined to raise their voices in defense of the Judeo-Christian beliefs upon which the nation was founded.
“In God We Trust” – Our National Motto – is under attack again,” reads a petition at the American Center for Law and Justice.
No. “In God We Trust” on US currency does NOT violate constitutional rights, nor does it force one to proclaim the “existence of” & “trust in” God, contrary to an absurd lawsuit. Sign to stand for our #NationalMotto: https://t.co/KHeq6VikeT pic.twitter.com/iItl5hzPgg
— Jay Sekulow (@JaySekulow) May 5, 2018
The petition continues:
If this sounds familiar, it’s because we’ve been defeating atheist Michael Newdow’s attempts to banish “under God” and “In God We Trust” in federal court for over a decade.
This time, his latest federal lawsuit is full of the same failed arguments: outlandishly claiming that our National Motto is “extremely offensive,” “bigotry,” and “persecution,” that atheists are “forced to proselytize,” and even comparing it to radical Islamic terrorism.
Sadly, this is not the only federal lawsuit against our National Motto. A self-described “Satanist” has filed a new lawsuit, claiming that “In God We Trust” on U.S. currency violates his constitutional rights and forces him to proclaim the “existence of” and “trust in” God.
We defeated attempts to remove “under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance at the Supreme Court and lawsuits against the National Motto before.
Now we’re preparing to file another critical amicus brief in federal appeals court to defend “In God We Trust” from new Satanist attacks.”
Currently, over 340,000 people have signed the petition.