In God We Trust
Aug. 26, 2001
Lt. Gov. Amy Tuck is catching flak in some quarters for helping raise $24,000 for a conservative religious organization's efforts to put framed In God We Trust'' posters in Mississippi public school classrooms. We see no cause for alarm in her efforts; in fact, it is refreshing to see a state politician standing up for her beliefs.
Even though some people think that this effort is not necessary … I cannot see what harm can come from having the name of the God of our universe, our country, (and) our state displayed on the wall so our children can see it,'' said Tuck.
A state law that took effect July 1 requires the In God We Trust'' slogan be posted in every public classroom, cafeteria and gym. The slogan must be on an appropriately framed background'' of at least 11 by 14 inches and some 42,000 of them are going up.
Tuck is perfectly within her rights to raise money for the new signs. In God We Trust'' was adopted as a national motto in 1956 and appears on U.S. coins. The motto sums up in four words what should be a lifelong commitment.
The best course for the American Civil Liberties Union of Mississippi, which is considering filing a lawsuit to block display of the slogan in public schools, is to just back off.
It is a clear violation of the separation of church and state,'' Chadwick said in a phone interview last week with the Associated Press. If the posters said 'In Allah We Trust' or 'In Buddah We Trust,' there might be a very different reaction from the people supporting it.''
But that really isn't the issue. The issue is putting some semblance of trust in a higher being back into a public school system that is sorely in need of help. The courts have removed prayer from the schools, along with any reference to the God that our nation's founders relied upon for guidance.
The Mississippi law requiring display of the slogan also mandates a moment of silence at the beginning of each school day. Supporters say the law will give children a chance to pray silently or finish homework.
Either one would be an improvement on the current situation and both clearly fall within the definition of freedom of speech. It would be even better if all students could read the posters.