Pennsylvania bill would require schools to display ‘In God We Trust’ motto

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Pennsylvania public school districts would be required to post “In God We Trust” in every school building under legislation that advanced out of a committee in the state House of Representatives this week.

The bill sponsored by Rep. Rick Saccone, R-Allegheny, passed the House Education Committee on Wednesday by a 14-to-9 vote, with only one Democrat and one Republican crossing party lines.

The National Motto Display Act, as it is titled, credits James Pollock, a 19th century Pennsylvania governor, for putting the term on coins while serving as director of the U.S. Mint. The measure would require schools to post it by using a mounted plaque, student artwork or some other form.

Saccone said the motto would fit well with the state’s local history curriculum and appears to be widely supported by his constituents.

Written By: Associated Press
continue to source article at foxnews.com

31 COMMENTS

  1. IMO, there should be a big warning sign on any article that is sourced from Fox News as this one is. “Out of Committee” is all that this proposed law has achieved which is not at all the same thing as being made a law.

  2. They just don’t get it. This reminds me of a child who wants ice cream before dinner and will come up with all sorts of deals and ideas on how they could possibly have ice cream before dinner without accepting the simple fact that there is no ice cream before dinner.

    I noticed at the bottom of the article there was a poll indicating a 41% approval rating of Obama. I can’t believe that many Fox followers approve so highly. This is like a 90% approval rating in the real world.

    • In reply to #4 by Stevehill:

      Surely even if this became law, eventually it would be struck down as unconstitutional? What’s the point?

      Not so surely.

      “In God We Trust” was adopted by congress in 1956 as the official motto of the United States. This Pennsylvania bill is a fairly clever attempt to leverage that fact into an insertion of God into public schools. I particularly winced when the article mentioned that, “The measure would require schools to post it by using a mounted plaque, student artwork or some other form.” So students would be given “patriotic” art assignments to celebrate the national motto? (Of course there is no intent to indoctrinate, just basic love of country here!)

      As for constitutionality, the few cases of legal precedence have thus far upheld the motto (on rather shaky gorund in my opinion.) From Wikipedia:

      The motto was first challenged in Aronow v. United States in 1970, but the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled: “It is quite obvious that the national motto and the slogan on coinage and currency ‘In God We Trust’ has nothing whatsoever to do with the establishment of religion. Its use is of patriotic or ceremonial character and bears no true resemblance to a governmental sponsorship of a religious exercise.” The decision was cited in Elk Grove Unified School District v. Newdow, a 2004 case on the Pledge of Allegiance. These acts of “ceremonial deism” are “protected from Establishment Clause scrutiny chiefly because they have lost through rote repetition any significant religious content.” In Zorach v. Clauson (1952), the Supreme Court also held that the nation’s “institutions presuppose a Supreme Being” and that government recognition of God does not constitute the establishment of a state church as the Constitution’s authors intended to prohibit.

      So the motto is only ceremonial deism you see. It doesn’t actually mean God when it says God. It’s just a think we say that doesn’t mean what it means. Get it?

      Attempts such as this Pensylvania law (if they carry forward) could squarely challenge the legal assumption that “ceremonial” phrases are benign and pose no threat to the establishment clause. I could see it leadint to interesting court cases. But given the court’s historic reluctance to stand up for strict church/state separation and the current make-up of SCOTUS I’m not sure that such cases would ultimately go the right way.

      • In reply to #8 by BanJoIvie:

        In reply to #4 by Stevehill:

        Surely even if this became law, eventually it would be struck down as unconstitutional? What’s the point?

        Not so surely.

        “In God We Trust” was adopted by congress in 1956 as the official motto of the United States. This Pennsylvania bill is a fairly clever attempt to…

        If this becomes a law (a big IF) and if it survived constitutional challenges all the way to the Supreme Court then the deciding vote, at least based on past cases, would be judge Kennedy. The other justices are either solidly on the side of more religion in schools (e.g. Scalia) or actually understand what separation of church and state really means (e.g., Sotomayor). Kennedy’s rulings on these kinds of issues are also fairly consistent, if it’s upholding some existing law, art work, or convention he tends to let it stand but if it’s a new law, etc. he rules with the liberals. In this case I think he would vote against this because it’s establishing new precedents for more religion in schools.

  3. The question of legal “standing” has been a problem for organizations who have wanted to take the motto to Court and get it stricken down on constitutional basis. This could be a good thing as a new law is easier to contest. However, it is not likely to make it all the way up to the SCOTUS because State Court will likely toss it, and when they do the supporters will be advised to drop it rather than risk nationwide loss of their religious motto. The action in 1956 to put religion into the motto was not constitutional, but the religious anti-communist political forces were too strong to challenge, at that time.

  4. Our National motto is

    “Government Shutdown”

    or
    “Sure I can afford it, I have a credit card”

    or
    “Sorry world, we blew it”.

    or “I’d gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today”

    But “In god we trust”? How’s that workin out so far?

  5. Dave1949 @11 – And which particular god would that be, pray, good sir?

    @OP – The measure would require schools to post it by using a mounted plaque, student artwork or some other form. -
    Pennsylvania public school districts would be required to post “In God We Trust”

    If this goes ahead, it will be up to any secular students or teachers to use their artistic creativity to produce accompanying illustrations! – naturally demonstrating a range of views rather than showing favouritism to any particular cult!

    http://dc.wikia.com/wiki/File:Zeus

    File:No Gods Image-Zeus.jpg

    http://www.venganza.org/materials/

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Anubis-standing.svg

    Statue of Aphrodite, 2nd c. BC.jpg

  6. How about a sign that says “In House of Representatives We Do Not Trust”?

    I have to say that the “In God We Trust” slogan is really creepy. It’s just such an in-your-face, outrageously definitive claim lacking any evidence. I’m not American, but I sometimes watch American legal dramas on TV, and every time they have the giant “In God We Trust” sign behind the judge on the wall in the court room, it makes my jaw drop. Everyone in the court room has to stare at that motto! Geez. If I ended up in American court, I would ask the judge “do you?”

  7. How about a sign that says “In House of Representatives We Do Not Trust”?

    I have to say that the “In God We Trust” slogan is really creepy. It’s just such an in-your-face, outrageously definitive claim lacking any evidence. I’m not American, but I sometimes watch American legal dramas on TV, and every time they have the giant “In God We Trust” sign behind the judge on the wall in the court room, it makes my jaw drop. Everyone in the court room has to stare at that motto! Geez. If I ended up in American court, I would ask the judge “do you?”

  8. Given that nobody, not even the most “convicted” Christian, knows anything that this word ‘god’ might refer to, it is surprising that a nation should, by adopting as its motto “In God We Trust”, advertise its trust in nothing in particular. I thought the USA’s motto was “E Pluribus Unum”, which actually means something.

  9. ‘In God we trust’ would be struck down if a satanic group took it to court. The Supreme Court would basically be forced to agree that ‘god’ is not the same thing as ‘satan’ (violating the First Amendment) or they could claim that it is the same… which would be even more amusing to put on any billboard that the government recognizes the word god = satan. I couldn’t see another option unless they refused to hear the case, but that would probably last until two different Circuit Court of Appeals came to different rulings.

  10. What is it with Republican representatives called Rick? Have the Santorums and the Perrys, and now the Saccones been summoned from ‘on high’ to be God’s chosen secret agents on Earth to bring His kingdom to the reluctant nation through any back door, any way they can? Is it some sort of heavenly conspiracy? Has there ever been a prophecy about God’s representative Rick being now fulfilled? Or is it just me seeing a silly pattern where there isn’t one? :)

    • And, what is the nickname for Richard? Coincidence? Well, maybe it’s a DIVINE intervention… Maybe “god’s”name is “Richard” too. Examination of the old testament would lead one to believe that it might be true. Then, these fools believe that they are “the image and likeness”…. So, by my logic, god is a DICK too.

      In reply to #18 by HenMie:

      What is it with Republican representatives called Rick? Have the Santorums and the Perrys, and now the Saccones been summoned from ‘on high’ to be God’s chosen secret agents on Earth to bring His kingdom to the reluctant nation through any back door, any way they can? Is it some sort of heaven…

      • Ha! Ha!, You blasphemer!

        In reply to #26 by crookedshoes:

        And, what is the nickname for Richard? Coincidence? Well, maybe it’s a DIVINE intervention… Maybe “god’s”name is “Richard” too. Examination of the old testament would lead one to believe that it might be true. Then, these fools believe that they are “the image and likeness”…. So, by my log…

    • In reply to #18 by HenMie:

      What is it with Republican representatives called Rick? Have the Santorums and the Perrys, and now the Saccones been summoned from ‘on high’

      crookedshoes @26

      And, what is the nickname for Richard? – .. . .. .a DICK too.

      Do you think that’s it? – I thought it was an abbreviation for the nature of their arguments or thinking:-

      rick·et·y
      >
      1. Likely to break or fall apart; shaky.
      2. Feeble with age; infirm.
      3. Of, having, or resembling rickets.

      • How clever of you, Alan (and Crookedshoes, as well). There might be something to that name after all, whichever way you look at it, me thinks! :)

        In reply to #28 by Alan4discussion:

        In reply to #18 by HenMie:

        What is it with Republican representatives called Rick? Have the Santorums and the Perrys, and now the Saccones been summoned from ‘on high’

        crookedshoes @26

        And, what is the nickname for Richard? – .. . .. .a DICK too.

        Do you think that’s it? – I thought it was a…

        • Hold on, hold on…. DICK Cheney??? At least he doesn’t try to cloak it and comes right out and calls himself Dick.

          His reelection slogan was “Dick Cheney… before he dicks you.”

          In reply to #29 by HenMie:

          How clever of you, Alan (and Crookedshoes, as well). There might be something to that name after all, whichever way you look at it, me thinks! :)

          In reply to #28 by Alan4discussion:

          In reply to #18 by HenMie:

          What is it with Republican representatives called Rick? Have the Santorums and th…

    • In reply to #21 by HellFireFuel:

      Shop across the road has that motto on a sign.

      But it adds the words

      The rest pay cash.

      No wonder the US is in a mess! Trust in God AND bankers!!!!!!

      What next? Trust in political stooges sponsored by bonus-culture oil executives? – Hang-on they’ve already done that one!

      • In reply to #22 by Alan4discussion:

        In reply to #21 by HellFireFuel:

        Shop across the road has that motto on a sign.

        But it adds the words

        The rest pay cash.

        No wonder the US is in a mess! Trust in God AND bankers!!!!!!

        What next? Trust in political stooges sponsored by bonus-culture oil executives? – Hang-on they’ve already do…

        8

  11. Typical of the right… instead of doing the work of the people, they are doing “God’s work. I have a problem with my public money going towards “God’s work. Can I get a right on instead of an A….men? :)

    No wonder nothing get’s done in Congress, they can’t get past 3 letter’s in the alphabet…G O D

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