A new bill introduced in Pennsylvania would enable schools to display the nation’s motto “In God We Trust” in classrooms and public-school buildings. The phrase may be a mounted plaque or may incorporate artwork “as a result of a student contest that may be prominently displayed in each school building,” a memorandum explained.

The Heritage of the United States

If the displays don’t endorse any religion, it’s likely to be passed. However, all schools are not bound to display the phrase. Republican Rep. Cris Dush sponsored House Bill 1602, Sept. 24 and first introduced it June 11. Dush said in a memorandum that “In God We Trust” is part of the heritage of the United States.

“Although this phrase was not officially established as our national motto until a law was passed by the 84th Congress and approved by President Eisenhower. It was first introduced to the nation by Francis Scott Key in 1814 as words that would be included in our national anthem.”

More history

The notice included the history of James Pollock from Milton, Pa., a governor from 1855 to 1858. He later served as a member of Congress. When Abraham Lincoln became president, he designated Pollock as acting director of the United States Mint. “Pollock suggested the motto “In God We Trust” be featured on all United States currency. This practice first occurred in April of 1864 when Congress approved the use of the motto on United States two-cent pieces. Since then, the motto has been inscribed on most denominations of coins in an uninterrupted period of time extending from 1916 to the present.”

Other states passed similar measures

Democratic Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards approved a bill passed by the state legislature in 2018, The Epoch Times noted. State Sen. Democrat Regina Barrow introduced a comparable bill. “It’s really important that young people understand the patriotic history of the country,” she said.

Arizona, Arkansas, Alabama, Kentucky, Florida, South Dakota and Tennessee allowed the representation of the motto in public schools.

However, the American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky opposed the measure in their state. “Religious ideals and beliefs and the study of religious texts and prayer is something that should be left to parents and churches and not government or school officials,” Amber Duke of the ACLU said regarding Kentucky’s decision in 2018.

According to the Treasury Department, “In God We Trust” was implemented on coins “because of religious sentiment existing during the Civil War.” It was “placed on the gold double-eagle coin, the gold eagle coin, and the gold half-eagle coin. It was also placed on the silver dollar coin, the half-dollar coin and the quarter-dollar coin, and on the nickel three-cent coin beginning in 1866.”

Congress adopted “In God We Trust” as the national motto in 1956.


About the Author

Corine Gatti-Santillo has spent two decades as an editor, investigative reporter and web content strategist; her work has appeared in The Christian Post, LifeZette and CBN, among other outlets. She is host of the program “Mom on the Right” on The Liberty Beacon TV. She and her husband, Rocky, live in Virginia with their infant daughter and yellow lab Maggie.