Texas law now requires public schools to display posters that include the national motto – ‘In God We Trust’ – with the American flag “centered under the motto.”
The legislation requires schools to hang “a durable poster or framed copy of the United States national motto” in a “conspicuous place in each building of the school or institution.” However, the law only applies if such posters are donated to the school. Since the bill was signed into law, conservative groups such as Patriot Mobile rushed to do so.
“Patriot Mobile has donated framed posters to many other school districts in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and we will continue to do so until all the schools in the area receive them,” the company wrote on Facebook last week. “We are honored to be part of bringing God back into our public schools!”
The bill, which was passed last year, was co-authored by Texas Reps. Tom Oliverson (R) and Sen. Bryan Hughes (R).
Oliverson states on his website that the legislation is meant to bring “a positive message that our educational system desperately needs right now. It is also a time-tested part of our nation’s history and collective belief in a creator who bestows inalienable rights upon every person in our midst, as well as blessings and protection to our nation.”
He added, “I strongly believe that the proud and patriotic display of ‘In God We Trust’ can only have a positive effect on our many communities and our schools. I ask people of all faith traditions to join me in support of this extremely positive and powerful message.”
However, opponents of the law argue that this act will only serve to “impose religion” on others, specifically Christianity.
Sophie Ellman-Golan of ‘Jews for Racial & Economic Justice’ told the Guardian: “These posters demonstrate the more casual ways a state can impose religion on the public. Alone, they’re a basic violation of the separation of church and state. But in the broader context, it’s hard not to see them as part of the larger Christian nationalist project.”
Though, as noted by Business Insider, other religious groups such as the Council on American-Islamic Relations believe that the posters could “foster discussions among Texas students about their various faiths and enhance understanding.”
The phrase ‘In God We Trust’ became the United States’ national motto in 1956, though it first appeared on the 1864 two-cent coin.
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
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