AFA pushes for “In God We Trust” in every classroom

The American Family Association and many members of Congress are working to put God back into schools and in all public buildings. They are gaining support.

The AFA, a conservative Christian organization, is aggressively promoting Republican Virginia Rep. Randy Forbes’s “In God We Trust” Resolution (H.Con.Res. 274), which reaffirms “In God We Trust” as our national motto and urges the motto to be publicly displayed “in all public buildings, public schools, and other government institutions.”

From AFA’s Action Alert:

Currently, 73 bipartisan members of Congress have signed on as co-sponsors of Rep. Forbes’ resolution. If your representative is one of those 73, thank him today.

If your representative is not one of those 73, urge him to become a co-sponsor today. What possible reason could he have to oppose this?

We all recognize the need to return God to His proper place in our public life and especially in our system of public education. You can help return this nation to God by contacting your representative today!

“This AFA action alert is a smoking gun that shows the ‘In God We Trust’ motto to be inherently religious, with no real secular purpose,” said David Niose, the American Humanist Association’s president. “Here we have a fundamentalist Christian group leading the charge to place the motto everywhere, obviously to impose their particular religious views on everyone, including nonreligious and humanist families.”

Rather than wide placement of the religious motto, the AHA instead recommends placement of the nation’s original motto, E Pluribus Unum (Latin for “Out of many, one”), which still appears on the national seal, in public buildings. “E Pluribus Unum is the kind of motto that all Americans can embrace,” Niose said. “It’s inclusive, reflecting our pluralistic character and emphasizing our unity. The ‘In God We Trust’ motto is inherently exclusive and divisive, and unfortunately that’s precisely why religious fundamentalists are so fond of its wide placement.”

He continued: “This political effort by the religious American Family Association demonstrates the discriminatory nature of the ‘In God We Trust’ motto, and illuminates its religious purpose and effect. No matter what one’s religious background and belief, surely one can understand that no child should have to go to public school each morning to see signs declaring his or her family’s religious beliefs to be wrong. That’s just unfair, not what this country is all about.”

What stance has your legislator taken on this issue?

15 Responses to AFA pushes for “In God We Trust” in every classroom

  1. Please change the link to the Resolution to http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c111:H.CON…. The current link goes through the AFA site unnecessarily.

  2. Unconstitutional. If they want a theocracy they can found a new country, perhaps next to other theocracies such as those in the middle east. America was founded as a secular nation and a nation under god is a nation divided. The pledge of allegiance was fine until its message was twisted in the 50s

  3. What a huge waste of time and money. A resolution has no legal power and, in this case, is only an attempt to get representatives on the record for use in election campaigns for or against this stupid phrase. I would like to see a resolution that "reaffirms" the bible's edict that a rich person won't get into heaven. Now, that's a vote a campaign could really use.

  4. I have just been instructed to take down my "In God We Trust" poster I have had displayed in my classroom for at least 6 years. My principal in Va. issued each teacher one to put up in our classroom. I now teach in Wilmington NC. and my job would have been in jeopardy if I refused. I can not believe I have lived long enough to see this happen. I cried like a baby. I can't aford to lose my job. What does the law say? Am I covered if I refuse?

    • Insubordination is insubordination. Why would you refuse a direct order from your employer to stop doing something which violates the US Constitution? You can put up whatever you like on your property. The classroom is not your property. It belongs to the taxpayers in your school district, most likely with Federal funding as well. Government may not endorse a religion, and an "IGWT" poster is endorsement of religion.

      • In response to your statement that the "Government may not endorse a religion, anjd an 'IGWT' poster is endorsement of religion", I fail to find any such a reference in the Constitution of the United States of America, its amendments or the Bill of Rights. Conversely, I find references to our "Creator", also known as 'God'. I do find in the 1st Amendment to the Bill of Rights a reference that 'the Government cannot establish a religion nor prohibit the free exercise thereof'. Taken within the context of the founding fathers mindset at that time, the non-establishment of a religion by the Government was a response to the forced church affiliation in Europe, especially in England. Obviously, the reference to the phrase 'nor prohibit the free exercise thereof' is self-explanatory. Within due bounds, a person is entitled to exercise his right to attend a church of his choice without coercion or persecution whatsoever.

        • In continuation, Placing a sign or poster that says "In God We Trust" is not the 'establishment of a religion' but a statement of belief by those who so believe, and means nothing to a person who does not believe in God. If a person put up a sign that says "There is No God", it would mean nothing to me other than being untrue as far as my personal belief is concerned. As a taxpayer, I have the same rights to put up such a sign as the taxpayer does who wants it taken down.

          • You may place any sign you wish on your own property. A school is not your property. It is publicly-owned property, subject to the local school district's regulations, along with state and federal regulations. Placing a sign which endorses a religion on government property implies that the government, not the individual sign-placer, is endorsing a religion. For those who believe in other things than the particular sign posted, the sign may be offensive, threatening, or blasphemous. Thus, it is not acceptable to give the impression that a government agency is promoting a particular religion. Cases have limited this to the type of placement, whether public or semi-private. For example, a teacher cannot display her Wiccan shrine in a classroom, which is public space and in which the teaching of a district-approved curriculum, not religious indoctrination, is to take place. However, if she has a private office and wishes to set up her shrine there, she is probably free to do so.

          • Then Bert I’m sure you agree that your taxpayer money will go to put up a sign for every single religion on the planet as well as atheism right next to that “In God We Trust” sign. The room would be full of signs. Or you could realize that’s a preposterous idea, that you have no right to stick your religious beliefs where they don’t belong and you can stop advocating taking God’s name in vain. Sorry, Bert, is your faith in God so pathetically weak that you need a sign to remind you of it?

          • According to the US Supreme Court in Lemon vs. Kurtzman, to pass constitutional muster when it comes to the 1st Amendment’s prohibition against establishing a religion, a government act must meet all three of these goals: 1.The government’s action must have a secular legislative purpose; 2.The government’s action must not have the primary effect of either advancing or inhibiting religion; 3.The government’s action must not result in an “excessive government entanglement” with religion. Have fun trying to argue that hanging a sign saying “In God we Trust” passes those three tests, Bert. Because there is no secular purpose to that sign, that sign advances a religion and that sign results in sticking religious belief into the public schools via the authority of the government..and hence constitutions an excessive government entanglement with religion. Sorry, Bert, if your faith is so weak that you need the government to prop it up for you then you need to find a different religion to believe in. But you have no right to make anyone’s kids be subject to your religious beliefs in the public schools. This is not a theocracy and you are acting like the Christian Taliban. And I’m a Christian and I’m telling you to back off. So perhaps you should listen to someone wiser and smarter then you in this case, yes? Because that sign will make the non-Christians the targets of the Christians in those schools and I guarantee you those non-Christians will be bullied and get their asses kicked for it. Kids already have enough crap to deal with without you stupidly splitting them into subgroups and painting a target on their backs for being different from the others.

        • I can only assume you have never read the Constitution, since you claim to find references to a "Creator". There are no references to "Creator", to "God", to "Jesus", or to any other deity. It is a purely secular document. http://www.usconstitution.net/constnot.html Here is more information on religion and the Constitution, including a couple of hundred years' worth of legal precedents: http://www.usconstitution.net/consttop_reli.html Have you perhaps heard of John Leland? Baptist minister. 1787. Fought long and hard for separation of church and state, as he recognized that the government that can favor one religion today, can easily favor a different one tomorrow. http://www.bjconline.org/index.php?option=com_con… The reference to a "Creator" reflects the Deism of a number of the Founders. It is not the same as the Christian "God", and the wording was chosen specifically for that purpose.

          • Chances are, Mike, that Bert is confusing the DOI and the US Constitution. And even in the DOI it’s not specifically referring to the Christian deity. Article 11 of the Treaty of Tripoli, signed by President John Adams after being ratified without dissent by the Senate of 1797: As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion,—as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility, of Mussulmen [Muslims],—and as the said States never entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mahometan [Muslim] nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries. Pay attention to that first two lines, Bert…specifically the part where the US Government in a treaty say that no..the government of the United States is not founded on the Christian religion. Kind of puts a crimp on your claim don’t you think?

  5. 38 million Americans will heartily disagree.

  6. Bert posting a sign in a classroom that says “in god we trust” when all in the class do not believe in god is a flat out lie. If you would like to put up a sign on your own property that says “in god I trust” go for it. There is no “we” involved when you are in a classroom of free thinking individuals.

  7. Oh and by the way..the separation of church and state is what the 1st amendment sets up. If you want to play this stupid “its not literally in the constitution” game, Bert, then you’re going to have a fun time explaining where in the Constitution it says that churches are tax exempt. Or where in the 2nd amendment it says that we all have the right to bear arms and there is to be no regulations on guns. After all..there really is only one way to interpret the words “A well regulated Militia…” and it doesn’t mean that two people in a Dodge Durango with uzi’s qualifies…. Don’t play the game you’re playing, Bert, you’re going to pay a high price for it.

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