Should public schools in Schuylkill County be allowed to display the national motto In God We Trust?
Earlier this week, members of Pennsylvania’s House Committee on State Government voted to advance legislation that would allow it.
According to state records, House Bill 1602, aka the National Motto Display Act, survived a 15-10 House committee vote this week. A Republican majority helped move the bill to the House floor.
We need rules like this because two things are under attack simultaneously here: America and God’s place in it.
Pennsylvania House Bill 1602
Yeah, apparently we need legislation to display our national motto in and around our public schools. However, the purpose of displaying the motto must be historic or to invoke American awareness. The goal can’t be to promote a specific religious message.
God’s name comes up a lot in American history. And one way to quickly erase American history as it’s been taught is to lose one’s mind — screaming about church and state — when they see God on historic documents or anywhere it appeared in historical texts.
Back in March, this issue came up in the Greencastle-Antrim School District, Franklin County. The school’s elected board of directors did vote to allow displaying In God We Trust at the school. According to CBN News, a similar effort was successful in nearby Waynesboro schools a few years ago, too.
HB 1602 would eliminate the need for these efforts to happen all over Pennsylvania. If this bill passes, a local public school could display the national motto if it chose, even if it did trigger the opposition.
But who is the opposition here?
Committee Secretary Rep. Russ Diamond of Lebanon County (PA-102) believes one group strongly opposed to HB 1602 is an unspecified teacher union. On his Facebook page prior to the committee vote this week, Diamond revealed his email inbox was spammed.
Diamond says he cleared close to a thousand emails that all looked alike. And he kept getting them. On his post, he writes, “They’re all exactly the same form letter, sent by members of the teacher’s union, telling me to vote against a bill tomorrow to permit (not force) schools to display the US motto, “In God We Trust.” Not a single one of these emails has been from a constituent in the 102nd District. Clogging up my email like this just makes me want to vote harder for this bill.”
He reiterated those concerns about the spam emails before the committee last week, too.
Although HB 1602 passed this committee and goes to the House floor, it’s still got some time before it could get to Gov. Tom Wolf’s desk. And at that point, it could be vetoed.
In God We Trust Fast Facts
- In God We Trust is also the official motto of the state of Florida.
- The national motto was only approved in 1956. It replaced E pluribus unum.
- Former Pennsylvania Gov. James Pollock led the effort to get In God We Trust on U.S. currency, starting in 1864.
- In God We Trust first appeared on the 2-cent piece. It was added on the back of all paper money starting in 1957.
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