A sign that says 'In God We Trust'
Should signs like this be put up in every state building in Oklahoma?

Oklahoma is inching ever closer to a very questionable separation of church and state.

Oklahoma House Speaker Charles McCall's bill calling for America's national motto "In God We Trust" to be displayed in all 342 state buildings passed in the Oklahoma House, 

American Atheists Oklahoma Director Tim Ward wasted no time weighing in. He said in a statement that “[the bill] sends the harmful message to atheists, agnostics, Buddhists, Hindus, and other polytheists that they are unwelcome in Oklahoma.”

It isn’t just American Atheists that are frustrated by the bill, however. Oklahoma Representative Emily Virgin sounded off about the bill, stating that “Many bills have already died because they weren't even given a committee hearing. These bills deal with funding mental health and substance abuse services, appropriately funding common education, ending the effective debtor's prison that is our cash bail system, and many more… The bill we’re hearing right now will not improve the life of a single Oklahoman. No one’s problems will be solved by words on a building.”

Outrage in Oklahoma

First Liberty senior counsel Roger Byron, whose institute makes a living defending the historical significance of public crosses and other religious memorials all the way to the Supreme Court, believes the unifying factor alone is worth every last penny of the $85,000 it's been estimated the move will cost Oklahoma taxpayers.

He's demanding secular activists keep calm and carry on. 

“Despite the claims of the perpetually offended, there are few things in our country today more unifying across the cultural and political spectrum than our national motto," he told Fox News. "During a time of confusion and division in our nation, the Oklahoma House is right to provide a visible reminder of a common state and national heritage.”

Others will argue the proposed Oklahoma and Kansas bills have nothing to do with patriotism, but are simply exploiting exclusionary religious slogans in disguise.

This has been a running battle for years now.

In Controversy We Trust

We wrote about a lawsuit in Ohio determined to wipe "In God We Trust" right off American currency way back in 2016. More recently, one Kentucky school board decided to send its public schools framed and enlarged one-dollar bills when forced to display the national motto on school grounds - the ninth state required to do so by law. Even the Florida Sheriff's Department caught legal flack after proudly announcing it'd be stamping the national motto on the back of its fleet of police cars.

But are any of these bills in fact exclusionary?

While one might argue displaying the national motto on a federal building would seem wholly intuitive, let alone discriminatory, it should also be clear the historical 'God' whose trust thee groups are continuously invoking is not the same one a growing number of Americans worship today - be they Jews, Hindus, Muslims, or Pagans. And that says nothing about the growing number of declared atheists in this country. If their argument is that the national motto is a unifying force, there are some definite holes there.

And yet, ‘In God We Trust’ has been the United States’ national motto since 1956, when it was signed into law by President Dwight D. Eisenhower. And the nation’s relationship with that motto goes even further back than that: it first appeared on U.S. coins in 1864. There is certainly an argument to be made for history’s sake.

Where do you stand? Is plastering every state building with ‘In God We Trust’ discriminatory towards non-Christians? Or should we all unify under our national motto?

58 comments

  1. JKM's Avatar JKM

    Nope. It violates The Constitution.

  1. Tom Thackrey's Avatar Tom Thackrey

    As a child of the 1950s and an atheist, I always interpreted the "God" in the pledge of allegiance and the motto as "Nature." I prefer the old motto and the old pledge, but not enough to worry about it. We have so many more important issues to fight about, let's drop this one.

  1. Brien's Avatar Brien

    Words, bickering over words. In God we trust, in nature we trust, in boogyman we trust, shake the chicken bones we trust, none of that matters one bit. What really matters is putting DECENT people into office that can do the job. But you are worried about building decorations. Ok, if you really cannot get enough of the mythical bullcr*p that puts your undies in a bunch consider this.....In God we trust does not mean in government we trust. There is NOBODY in government that even comes close to being a deity. So relax all you building critics. Why don't you put that frustration where it belongs and put some damn REAL PEOPLE in office that will do some good. Then we can re-visit the decor issue.

    1. CB's Avatar CB

      Good points to consider.

  1. Kenneth J Ferrugiaro's Avatar Kenneth J Ferrugiaro

    Keep God, like your penis, in your pants.

  1. Chris's Avatar Chris

    It's interesting the person defending this unnecessary waste of tax dollars refers to those opposed to it as the "perpetually offended" when 'Murkan Christians are the ones crying about not being allowed to push their supposed faith into everyone's lives. This is just one more part of the 'Murkan Christian Agenda.

  1. Mark Hannon's Avatar Mark Hannon

    I always assumed that U.S. money had "in God we trust" on it because everyone in the U.S. worshipped money. Makes sense that the religious of Oklahoma would want to worship their public buildings but they should want to keep them in perfect repair and completely clean if they really mean it. I am pretty certain the U.S.A. actually does worship money.

  1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

    If he/she existed, I wouldn’t trust any god one bit. None of them seem to have got their act together 😜

    Thinking of god, any god, It reminds me of the old saying from Laurel and Hardy. ‘This is another fine mess you’ve gotten me into.....god”

    🦁❤️

    1. CB's Avatar CB

      Bear in mind God gave each of us free will. However, it is up to each one of us to take responsibility for the consequences of our thoughts, words, and deeds. However, It is easy to understand how someone would not wish to believe in God, with all the crazy things going on.

      1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

        Thank you CB. We do have free will, but it is pure conjecture that any deity was actually involved. Stating categorically that a god gave it to us is a huge jump being that no one can demonstrate that any god really exists. For sure, there are some crazy things going on though nowadays.

        🦁❤️

      2. Ilmenheru Terikson's Avatar Ilmenheru Terikson

        CB you do understand the idea of freewill is as much a myth as the idea of deities right? Every bit of study into how human and really all living creatures behavior develops and is influenced by every single put of input our senses take in makes us seem very much like the computer programs we model after ourselves. Any human can for example be broken and programmed via torture and conditioning no different then training a dog. Such proves free will is simply fantasy. We are shaped by every bit of outside stimuli. We reason and react based on such things.

        Virtually no modern expert in neuroscience or psychology considers the idea of free will at all because it is indeed a fantasy no less then god.

  1. Flora Michelle Williams's Avatar Flora Michelle Williams

    Many older countries have been in religious warfare since the beginning of their existence. America is a young country that continues to change and evolve. With that said, I know that many cultures exist in America, and assimilate to set norms will be the survival of America, United States. We are founded by those words, “In God We Trust”. Whoever your God is!

  1. Steve Schafir's Avatar Steve Schafir

    The founding fathers were NOT Christians. They were fleeing from Christianity in England. They wrote papers explaining the Constitutional amendments they wrote. They did indeed mean to not have a national religion and to allow people to practice whatever religion they desired. All people are asking for is to put everything back the way it was in the beginning. Religious people (Christians) are the only ones that wanted this on the money. All gods are not the same. Maybe we should put In Allah we trust. God is not a generic term as some would suggest. Some do not recognize any supreme being and others calle it a supreme being or force NOT a god.

    As this phrase was not originally on the money or in the pledge of allegiance it should be taken out and off. We are a nation of laws not religion. I don't believe this ijust an atheist issue. I believe it is an issue that the religious have forced on us. We have seen in the past where the 10 commandments have been removed from courthouses because it doesn't belong.

    Constitutional law experts and historians do agree that the first amendment DOES mean separation of church and state. Look up antidisestablishmentarianism> Having god referenced in anything to do with the government adds nothing to our country.

  1. Hazel Diane Graep's Avatar Hazel Diane Graep

    This country is supposed to have separation of Church and State. The First Amendment of the United States Constitution states: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..." Requiring "In God We Trust" on all State buildings flies in the face of the U.S. Constitution, It's flat out unconstitutional. And God? WHOSE God? Or Goddess for that matter? There are many different religions in the United States. I say that Bill never should have passed..

  1. flugo's Avatar flugo

    Hey, we got a choice: trust in an all-loving righteous, eternal God; or trust in anything/anyone else, which is an inferior, perilous, eternally dangerous move. Not difficult to sort that one out!

    1. Lori Mongillo's Avatar Lori Mongillo

      Really flugo..... in one post you say all-loving God and in another post you say you HATE as God hates. I'm really puzzled by how you change with the wind. So God loves All?????

      1. Lori Mongillo's Avatar Lori Mongillo

        So where is the HATE you talked about in one of the other topics?

        1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

          Maybe flugo's god becomes more loving or hateful depending on the kind of mood flugo is in.

          1. Lori Mongillo's Avatar Lori Mongillo

            That seems to be very true. It's difficult to grasp.

  1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

    let them be. There is no separation of church and state anywhere in the constitution the first mention of this was in a letter to Jefferson from his baptist detractors in 1802. The Constitution was ratified and became US Law in 1787 now that means that to change the constitution you have to have a constitutional amendment, not a decision be the Supreme Court as this had been the law of the land for 15 years. Recently an athiest named Newdow went all the way to the supreme court TWICE and got bi-yatch slapped so hard that still has the marks. He tried to get "in god we trust: off the money and SCOTUS told him to get bent and threw him out of the court with prejudice meaning he aqain never file such a stupid lawsuit again. And he tried again to sue the SCOTUS for their religious displays in their room where they hear the cases and he lost again as they threw this case out with prejudice.

    so let then complain, it wont do them a bit of fgood

  1. Rev. Laurie G. Cleveland RN's Avatar Rev. Laurie G. Cleveland RN

    First of all, no it doesn't. Every single religion with the exception of atheism which is actually not a religion as they don't believe in anything. Every other religion believes in a supreme being or beings. They just call him different names. A rose by any other name is still a rose.

    1. Dan Anderson's Avatar Dan Anderson

      Laurie - Let me refine your answer a bit. There are a handful of non-theistic (not atheistic) religions which offer a concept of ethical or moral behavior, but has no real mention of any deities. This would include Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, and some would even bring in Shinto.

      1. Thomas Leslie Bell's Avatar Thomas Leslie Bell

        Sorry to correct, the religions mentioned do believe in gods they just don't trust them with their destiny 😉

      2. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

        When I was studying Buddhism many years ago I found out that Buddhists don't even consider it a religion, but simply a way of being. Also, Wicca ( of which I am an initiated member), according to my mentor, is not exactly a religion, but more than a religion, a life path. However, so we don't further confuse all the ignorant simpletons in this country ( which undoubtedly comprises the vast majority), it's best that our government now considers such things (and probably others, such as atheism, perhaps) religions.

  1. James M Slack's Avatar James M Slack

    I would like to comment on this subject. It comes to me that it’s time for us to stand up for our religious beliefs. We need to to understand that In God We Trust is a true statement. We need to put back in his natural place again. He is our creator and redeemer and my savior as he is others. God should have never been taken down from any place. Without God we have nothing. It will come to pass that if some keep denying him, they will suffer at his will. Some need to wake up before it’s to late for them. If it wasn’t for our Heavenly Father we would not only be here and all other beautiful things wouldn’t be here either. So In my message. I believe In God We Trust should be reinstalled where ever it deems possible. Thanks for allowing me to voice my opinion and God Bless You All and God Bless the USA James M Slack

    1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

      I don’t agree with you one bit James, but thank you for your comment. There is of course no demonstrable evidence whatsoever that your god, any god, ever existed, but it’s a very interesting thought created by mankind isn’t it?

      🦁❤️

    2. CB's Avatar CB

      Thank you, James; I agree. Mr. Lionheart, I appreciate your good manners! Also, there is an interesting book by Gregg Braden you might find fascinating: The Divine Matrix. You have a discerning mind and you may find it a good read.

    3. Brian Scott Hoff's Avatar Brian Scott Hoff

      As a fellow American I simply disagree with you completely.

  1. Sandra Eileen Shea's Avatar Sandra Eileen Shea

    I agree with James Slack, no need to rewrite another statement here. I also believe prayer should come back into the schools! We can all see the deterioration through the years since prayer was removed from the schools.

    God Bless America!, Sandra Shea

    1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

      Thank God and Goddess your version of America is not the America that the majority of Americans now love, Sandra.

    2. CB's Avatar CB

      Thank you!

    3. Richard Wesley Aman's Avatar Richard Wesley Aman

      As long as there are examinations, there will always be prayer in the schools!

  1. Paul J. Fumero's Avatar Paul J. Fumero

    This is the alt-right conservatives, republicans and evangelicals trying to establish a religious dictatorship based on christianity, their version, only. Most of our founders were not "christians". But such false beliefs will disappear from the mainstream in 100 years or so. People are waking up to the truth and it can't be stopped. No matter how they politicize religion and beliefs. God exists all right but it is in no way near who he really is as taught in their churches.

  1. Rev. Jonathan Peebles's Avatar Rev. Jonathan Peebles

    Sorry but no matter your religion the separation of church and state is the first amendment which must be unforced how can people forget that?

    1. Brien's Avatar Brien

      The first amendment Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

      1. Steven P Robinson's Avatar Steven P Robinson

        I have always understood the 1st Amendment as prohibiting the establishment of an official National or State Religion. It recognizes Freedom OF Religion, not From Religion.

        As I remember, the 1st major appearance of a variant of the Motto is in the poem "The Star Spangled Banner" written by Francis Scott Key in 1814, which became (well after being set to tune of the drinking song "To Anacreon in Heaven") the National Anthem of the USA in 1931: "And this be our motto, In God is our Trust."

        I also recall from history class that this motto, "In God We Trust," appeared on US coinage in 1864, during the Civil War.

        As I recall the original Pledge of Allegiance was written by Francis Bellamy in 1892. He was a Christian minister who was socialist in his politics. I find it ironic that "under God" was added to the pledge of allegiance, during the Red Scare..

      2. CB's Avatar CB

        Thank you, Brien.

    2. Brien's Avatar Brien

      As you can see here, there is no separation of church and state. It only prevents laws being made to force religion. The building signs are not law, they are freedom of speech allowed under this amendment. The government in no way is telling anyone how to or how not to practice their beliefs. I have no dog in this, but fair is fair. You cannot say on one hand this group can voice their beliefs, but this other group can't.

      1. Wayward73's Avatar Wayward73

        Finally rationality instead of rhetoric. Bravo, Brien!

      2. CB's Avatar CB

        Good point.

      3. CB's Avatar CB

        Good point.

    3. Brien's Avatar Brien

      Please show where it states thzt.

  1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

    I agree with Brien too, but wouldn't it only take a majority of votes to amend the Constitution again. That might be something worth looking into. It might even be of benefit to Google wikipedia.

  1. James M Slack's Avatar James M Slack

    To whom this apply too I’m so sorry you feel the way you do. We could disgust this till the the cows come home and probably not accomplish a thing. As for me I believe in my God, as I know ours do. When the time comes I hope you will also be accepted. But then only Jesus can let you in to heaven and only through him. I pray for you and ours that feel as you do God Bless

  1. Robert Brandon Chaney's Avatar Robert Brandon Chaney

    Yes, absolutely. Regardless of creed; However, I follow the Christian faith, we should understand the world has a created existence and trust it its Creator!

    1. JKM's Avatar JKM

      Not everyone believes that, though.

      1. Brian Scott Hoff's Avatar Brian Scott Hoff

        Robert doesn't understand that.

  1. Robert Earl Lewis's Avatar Robert Earl Lewis

    Vote on it

  1. Ty Ford's Avatar Ty Ford

    "In God We Trust" was put on our money and in Pledge of Allegiance by politicians seeking to create a more capitalistic society and "bring the people" under it . Here's a conversation with the author of "One Nation Under God." The whole thing was a scam perpetrated in the 1950s.

    https://www.npr.org/2015/03/30/396365659/how-one-nation-didnt-become-under-god-until-the-50s-religious-revival

  1. John P Maher's Avatar John P Maher

    in the FIRST AMENDMENT WE TRUST, GOD HAS NOT BEEN so TRUSTWORTHY as of MY BIRTHDATE, LOOK at WHAT HE GAVE US WITH tRUMP, and ALL the innocent PEOPLE SENT to PRISON and ON, and ON, and ON !!!

  1. Elliot Wapniak 's Avatar Elliot Wapniak

    I think it’s about time to just let it go, and concentrate on real problems! I’m not overly religious, but I do believe in a higher being. I don’t care what your religious beliefs are, but if you’re about to be hit by a bus, y’all are going to be screaming “Oh God!”. So, lighten up, y’all!

  1. Elizabeth's Avatar Elizabeth

    yes, i would like one just for my house.

  1. Rev. Howard Slayton's Avatar Rev. Howard Slayton

    In God we trust isn’t specific about which God we’re talking about AND our nation was founded on Christian principles..... I don’t really see a problem with it. Our rights and freedoms are derived from nature’s God. Declaration of Independence.

  1. Brian Scott Hoff's Avatar Brian Scott Hoff

    Well, there's that pesky Constitution and no establishment clause.

  1. James M Slack's Avatar James M Slack

    I’m so happy that the people of Oklahoma have stood up for their believe. One can only hope that this will snowball and all our people of our Great Nation stands up for their beliefs also. God Bless them and all of us like them. When Our Heavenly Father is back in place and in our lives again. He will Stand for us

    1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

      If he exists, whichever god it is, may I ask what do you think he’s doing right now? Just asking!

      🦁❤️

  1. James M Slack's Avatar James M Slack

    Your answer to, it he exists. Our Heavenly Father does exists and is watching over us and our love ones that have passed. I’m sorry you feel the way you do and not except Our Heavenly Father as your savior. I hope the day will come when you need him, he will be there for you. Remember only through him will you get to heaven. I hope some day we will meet each other there and you will see our Heavenly Father does exists May God Bless You as He Does All Who Believe.

  1. Richard Lee Cornell's Avatar Richard Lee Cornell

    Allah be praise. Finally after all these infidels realize that the true God is Allah. Now there are the Republicans who happen to have their elephant God. Say not least are the Democrates who's God is a jackass.

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