‘In God We Trust’ Public Meeting Displays Approved In Two Cities
City Councils in the east Texas towns of Whitehouse and Troup are the latest to approve displaying the controversial words “In God We Trust” at their public meetings.
Troup City Administrator Jed Dillingham says Troup is a patriotic community with a strong spiritual heritage, and he thinks displaying the motto is appropriate and in keeping with both aspects.
Whitehouse City Manager Mike Peterson says “The Founding Fathers, I think that that was their vision for the country, and (the motto) is a reminder that that should be our focus, too.”
Lisa Graybill, legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas, says she doesn't agree with the cities’ reasoning for displaying the phrase.
Graybill says the Founding Fathers were religious, but they also had a deep appreciation for the separation of church and state, which exists to protect the church as much as the state. She believes using a specific religion to express patriotism is disrespectful to the religious diversity of all of the patriots.
Whitehouse and Troup are not the first East Texas entities to adopt the motto. The Smith County Commissioners Court recently adopted the motto, and is now accepting private donations to pay for putting it on display in its meeting room.
Incidentally, this isn't happening by accident. There's an ongoing national campaign to get the In God We Trust motto displayed in every local government chamber in the country.
So far more than 200 governmental entities in eight states have adopted it, and Whitehouse and Troup are just t he latest to jump on that bandwagon.
And they don't appear to care much what the ACLU thinks about it.
Imagine. The words "In God We Trust" are now so controversial that elected officials are afraid to say them or display them in public.