A South Dakota law, signed by Republican Governor Kristi Noem in March, goes into effect this month and will require every public school throughout the state to display an “In God We Trust” sign on their premises beginning in the fall semester.
“Some have plaques, others have it painted on the wall, maybe in a mural setting,” said Associated School Boards of South Dakota executive director Wade Pogany, in describing how the new rule may be implemented at various public schools.
Supporters believe this new law is a key part of a patriotic rival, as the American people unite to make their country great again in accordance with the natural law. The opponents, in particular the atheistic Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF), want to banish the name of God from all public life.
“Our position is that it’s a terrible violation of freedom of conscience to inflict a godly message on a captive audience of school children,” FFRF co-president Annie Laurie Gaylor said. Her organization may file a lawsuit to stop the policy.
The FFRF explained their hostility toward religion, Christianity in particular, in a press release they issued about the new law.
“These laws are about advancing the Big Lie that the United States was “founded on God” or Christianity, thus dismantling the wall between religion and government. The motto “In God We Trust” is inaccurate, exclusionary, and aimed at brainwashing American schoolchildren into believing that our nation is a theocracy,” asserts the FFRF.
The infamous left-wing special interest group, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) also issued a press release through their South Dakota chapter against the legislation before it was signed into law.
“No student should feel pressured in public school to adopt certain religious beliefs. Parents, not school officials, are responsible for shaping their children’s religious education,” the South Dakota ACLU wrote.
“All students – those of any faith or those of none – should feel safe and welcome in our public schools. This bill sends a thinly veiled message that only students who believe in God are welcome,” they added.
The state is willing to take on the legal costs of anti-Christian groups like the FFRF and the ACLU should they frivilous lawsuits in an attempt to get the will of the people overturned by the courts.
“One of our concerns was that this would be contested. So we had asked the legislature to put a ‘hold harmless’ clause into the bill. The state would then defend the schools and pay the cost of the defense,” Pogany said.
“In God We Trust” has been printed on American money since 1864 when the motto first started to appear on coins. It was adopted as the official motto of the U.S. in 1956, made so after President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed it into law. The motto began appearing on paper money the following year.
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