“In God We Trust.” Or do we?
The state of Texas requires that America’s national motto “In God We Trust” be prominently displayed in every public school or institution of higher learning.
Not surprisingly some persons object as evidenced by a Washington Post commentary and a parent who raised the issue at a Texas school board meeting.
But the proposal is misguided albeit perhaps well-intended.
First, one can question whether any poster asserting “In God we trust” is appropriate in a public school. I’m not opposed to it but others who don’t believe in God or who claim that the wording violates the First Amendment separation of church and state may choose to take issue with the policy. The legality should be decided by the courts.
Our Declaration of Independence states refers to God in three times. But the document does not link God to a specific religion. Thus, it recognizes—perhaps inadvertently—that Americans are free to worship as they see fit.
Second, advocating “In God we trust” posters be displayed with LGBTQ+ rainbow colors, in Spanish, Arabic or other languages or even Braille, as mentioned in the commentary, risks alienating or excluding some students. The LGBTQ+ multiple colors could be interpreted as promoting a non-gender agenda. And, of course, some students wouldn’t understand a Spanish, Arabic or Braille poster so that would be counterproductive at best and silly at worst.
This obvious campaign in favor of diversity accomplishes the opposite of what its advocates hope to achieve.