U.S. House Supports 'In God We Trust' Postings in Public Schools

Church & State, December 2011 | Go to article overview

U.S. House Supports 'In God We Trust' Postings in Public Schools


The House of Representatives has passed a resolution reaffirming "In God We Trust" as the national motto and calling for its display in public schools and other government buildings.

The non-binding resolution was sponsored by U.S. Rep. Randy Forbes (R-Va.). Although the motto's place in American life would seem secure, Forbes insisted that it is under attack.

"What's happened over the last several years is that we have had a number of confusing situations in which some people who don't like the motto have tried to convince people not to put it up," Forbes told The New York Times.

The resolution was approved on Nov. 1 by a 396-9 tally, with 26 members not voting and two voting "pre-sent."

Of the "no" votes, eight were democrats: U.S. Reps. Gary Ackerman (N.Y.), Judy Chu (Calif.), Emanuel Cleaver (Mo.), Mike Honda (Calif.), Hank Johnson (Ga.), Jerrold Nadler (N.Y.), Robert C. Scott (Va.) and Pete Stark (Calif.).

Scott issued a statement critical of the House for taking up the matter and ignoring issues of poverty, joblessness and other urgent economic concerns.

"Instead of facing these challenges and creating jobs to help American people make sure they have a roof over their head and food on their table," he said, "we are debating whether or not to affirm and proliferate a motto that was adopted in 1956 and is under no threat of attack. In addition to diverting attention away from substantive issues, the resolution is unconstitutional."

The sole Republican to vote against the resolution was U.S. Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan.

On his Facebook page, Amash said, "The fear that unless" In God We Trust' is displayed throughout the government, Americans will somehow lose their faith in God, is a dim view of the profound religious convictions many citizens have The faith that inspired many of the Founders of this country - the faith I practice - is stronger than that. Trying to score political points with unnecessary resolutions should not be Congress's priority. I voted no."

Americans United for Separation of Church and State also criticized the measure. …

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