It’s a phrase that has been the American national motto for more than half a century, and now, it may be closely associated with public schools in Tennessee as well.
The House of Representatives in the the Volunteer State has voted to approve a bill that would require public schools to prominently display the phrase “In God We Trust.”
The National Motto in the Classroom Act was approved by the House last week by a whopping 81-8 margin and today was sent to the desk of Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam, who will decide whether to sign the bill into a law, The Tennessean reported.
If approved, every public school in Tennessee will be required to place the motto in an “entry way, cafeteria, or common area where students are likely to see the … display,” according to the bill, which also suggests that the phrase be mounted on a plaque on weaved into student artwork.
“Our national motto is on our money. It’s on our license plates. It’s part of our national anthem,” said Republican Rep. Susan Lynn, who sponsored the bill. “Our national motto and founding documents are the cornerstone of freedom and we should teach our children about these things.”
So very proud to have just passed my national motto bill.
IN GOD WE TRUST
— Susan Lynn (@SusanMLynn) March 20, 2018
During an appearance on “Fox & Friends” earlier this week, Lynn described the phrase as a “guiding principle for our nation.”
“It’s now and ever shall be,” Lynn said, quoting President. John F. Kennedy
While “In God We Trust” was declared as the national motto in 1956, it began to appear on coins in 1864, which may explain Americans’ ingrained familiarity with the motto.
Similar bills for displaying the motto or other religious phrases have been circulating throughout the country in recent years, Christian Today reported. In February, the Arizona Senate approved a bill that would allow the phrase “God enriches” in public classrooms.
And in the wake of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, the Florida House approved a measure that would also display “In God We Trust” in schools.
Critics of these type of bills claim they’re a violation of separation of church and state, also a fundamental of the U.S. government.
(H/T: The Tennessean)