Kentucky Law Requiring 'In God We Trust' Be Displayed at Schools Going into Effect

The law: “Local boards shall require each public elementary and secondary school to display the national motto of the United States, ‘In God We Trust,’ in a prominent location in the school” - Christian Headlines

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Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

This is not a Christian or conservative or even American thing to do.

Protecting the freedom of local school districts to display such things is one thing, requiring them to is just wrong. What do they think this is going to accomplish? If the local SD believes there's value in sending this message, they'll do it anyway. If they don't believe, forcing them to declare this statement is only going to produce anger and resentment. Nobody believes something because a required plaque on the wall says so!

Persuasion vs. coercion. The Christian way is persuasion.

(I expect the ACLU will soon be involved, and for once I'll be rooting for them!)

TylerR's picture

Editor

Yes, so stupid. Christians of an older generation (70+) often applaud this kind if thing, in my experience.

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and an Investigations Manager with a Washington State agency. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

GregH's picture

As we have all heard, when praying to God was taken out of public schools, everything went to hell in a handbasket. So just think about how more advanced Kentucky public education is going to be than the rest of us within a few years!

Very sobering. My home state of Georgia is in trouble. We are going to have to find a way to get our kids ready to compete with the caliber of young person coming out of Kentucky and it will not be pretty.

dcbii's picture

EditorModerator

I'm a bit of two minds on this one.  I don't actually think that having a school which is part of the United States be required to have a sign showing the motto of the United States must be stupid or wrong, but is it really necessary or useful?

And what is the real purpose of this requirement?  That's the question I think needs to be answered.  I agree it will accomplish no religious goal whatsoever, and it certainly should not be argued that way from a supposed biblical perspective.

Either way, this is not a hill I would want to die on.

Dave Barnhart

Bert Perry's picture

Can't remember who said it first, but it reminds me of the comment a guy made (Twain?) about the 10 Commandments--something to the effect of "if you think they're so important, maybe try following them?"  Or here, "if you think the national motto is so important, maybe act as if it's true?"

If I remember correctly, the motto (and its inclusion on currency) dates back only to 1956, which corresponds roughly as well with the nation's moral decline as does the removal of prayer from schools.   Actually, somewhat better, as the downturn in marriage rates (% of adults married) started turning down in the 1950s (especially for blacks), and the lowering of bodice lines dates back (if I can judge by the car ads in National Geographic) about that far, too.  So our national motto--which probably has as much to do with showing we were different from the Godless Commies as any actual religious impulse--could be said to correlate pretty well with our nation's moral decline.

I'd better admit that post hoc, ergo propter hoc is a fallacy before I (or anyone else) takes this correlation any further.....

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

David R. Brumbelow's picture

Why I’m for, “In God We Trust” being posted in public schools. 

It reveals the Christian heritage of our nation.  It is, after all, our national motto adopted by Congress July 30, 1956. 

It reminds people of the concept of God. 

It tells us there is Someone bigger than we are.

It at least shows we are not an officially atheist country.   

A country that thinks of God is better than a country that does not think of God.  This also includes school kids. 

In the current legal climate, it is about as religious a statement was anyone is allowed to make in governmental situations.  I believe we should be allowed to inscribe Scripture on public monuments today, as has been done in the past.  It’s a shame we can’t post the 10 Commandments in our schools. 

Will it solve all the problems of America?  Of course not.  But it is a small, positive step. 

David R. Brumbelow

GregH's picture

David R. Brumbelow wrote:

Why I’m for, “In God We Trust” being posted in public schools. 

It reveals the Christian heritage of our nation.  It is, after all, our national motto adopted by Congress July 30, 1956. 

It reminds people of the concept of God. 

It tells us there is Someone bigger than we are.

It at least shows we are not an officially atheist country.   

A country that thinks of God is better than a country that does not think of God.  This also includes school kids. 

In the current legal climate, it is about as religious a statement was anyone is allowed to make in governmental situations.  I believe we should be allowed to inscribe Scripture on public monuments today, as has been done in the past.  It’s a shame we can’t post the 10 Commandments in our schools. 

Will it solve all the problems of America?  Of course not.  But it is a small, positive step. 

David R. Brumbelow

David,

I will concede that most of the founding fathers were members of some variation of Christian churches (though often for social reasons and many of them rarely darkened the door of the church they bought their pew in). I do find it ironic how much grace is extended to these dead guys who would be rudely separated from by conservative evangelicals and fundamentalists in a heartbeat today. But put that aside and let's call them Christian.

Personally, I think John Locke far more influenced the founders of the country than Christianity and I think that is why Christianity is given no status, much less favored status in the Constitution or Bill of Rights. If anything, the founders seemed to be wary of religion becoming too much of an influence (and with good reason when you consider the time period).

So, here is the question I always have when people start pushing for prayer in public schools or the ten commandments in the courtroom or whatever. Does this apply to all religions or just Christianity? What happens when a Muslim neighborhood votes to insert their religion into the public schools? And if you don't like that, how do you stop it? Do you pull a Roy Moore and out of thin air claim that Christianity does indeed have favored religious status in the US? 

It seems to me that many Christians want to have their cake and eat it too. They want religion in government as long as it is their own religion. They believe in religious freedom but they think Christianity should be more free. It reminds me of that famous line from Animal Farm where the pigs say "all animals are equal but some are more equal than others."

mmartin's picture

Many of y'all on this thread sure are cynical.  Wow!

David R. Brumbelow's picture

GregH,

I’ve long been aware of the objections you present.  No, the founding fathers of our nation were neither perfect or perfect Christians.  But our nation’s Christian influence and heritage are undeniable. While it is waning, Christianity is still the major religion in America today.  Baptists, however, did not want favored status in the new USA, they just wanted religious liberty. 

Yes, there are sticky situations with religious liberty and Christians have to tolerate other religions as well.  I do not believe in religious liberty for only Baptists.  I’m still for the motto and the 10 Commandments

Would some of you also be for removing “In God We Trust” from our USA coins and paper money? 

Dave White,

I agree churches and private land owners ought to more often spend the money to put up their own Christian and Scripture monuments.  The same in cemeteries.  It is a great testimony to the world.  My church has one bronze, and several laser inscribed bricks outdoors that quote John 3:16; Isaiah 40:8; Titus 2:13; John 14:6.  I have some on my personal property.  The same type thing also for several gravestones for which I’ve been responsible. 

A while back one of our members saw a lady (not a member) in our church parking lot waiting for the school bus; our member saw her get out of her car and walk around to each of our Scripture markers and take pictures of them. 

Churches especially should do more along these lines. 

Also, if you are selling property to the government, keep a ten foot square plot; then you can place a Scripture monument there, practically on government property. 

http://gulfcoastpastor.blogspot.com/2018/05/christian-message-on-militar...

David R. Brumbelow

Bert Perry's picture

I own that, Mr. Martin, cheerfully.  Though in times when I'm inclined to be more charitable to myself, I'll say "realistic" instead of "cynical."   And to be realistic on a more serious note, is it more impressive that someone paid a few grand to put up a monument decades ago, or passed a law to compel the display of the national motto, or is it more impressive that people are living as if these things mattered?

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Mike Harding's picture

In light of the two mass murders committed by young people (21 and 24) over the weekend, which according to the mayor of Dayton, is the 250th mass murder in the USA, not to mention the 1500 people shot in Chicago this calendar year and the massive increase in suicides, I think we should be mostly concerned with "In God We Trust" appearing in a handful of public schools across the nation and even more concerned if the Ten Commandments should appear on public property.  Too much common grace and public religion; that's our problem!

Pastor Mike Harding

GregH's picture

David R. Brumbelow wrote:

Would some of you also be for removing “In God We Trust” from our USA coins and paper money? 

Pretty much I couldn't care less. However, I do believe that if we put Christian slogans on money, we have no grounds to protest Muslim slogans on money. Or, if we want prayer before football games, we can't get upset if it is a Muslim prayer. And so on... 

That was my point. Speaking for myself, I would be fine with no religion in public schools, court rooms or other government settings. 

Craig Toliver's picture

President Theodore Roosevelt  & the Saint-Gaudens double eagle

In 1904, President Theodore Roosevelt sought to beautify American coinage, and proposed Saint-Gaudens as an artist capable of the task. Although the sculptor had poor experiences with the Mint and its chief engraver, Charles E. Barber, Saint-Gaudens accepted Roosevelt's call. The work was subject to considerable delays, due to Saint-Gaudens's declining health and difficulties because of the high relief of his design. Saint-Gaudens died in 1907, after designing the eagle and double eagle, but before the designs were finalized for production.

After several versions of the design for the double eagle proved too difficult to strike, Barber modified Saint-Gaudens's design, lowering the relief so the coin could be struck with only one blow. When the coins were finally released, they proved controversial as they lacked the words "In God We Trust", and Congress intervened to require the motto's use. 

They are expensive - Ebay

TylerR's picture

Editor

Baptists, more than any other Christian group, should be champions of religious liberty free from state interference. This distinctive is being lost in this " 'MERICA!" nationalism. 

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and an Investigations Manager with a Washington State agency. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?