Republican sponsored legislation that would require Pennsylvania public school districts to post “In God We Trust” in every public school building advanced out of committee in the state House of Representatives this week.
Critics claim Saccone, a Christian conservative and Tea Party member, is trying to “inflict Christianity on public schools.” Last year Siccone introduced a resolution that declared 2012 to be "The Year Of The Bible" and earlier this year he tried to have April 30th declared to be "National Fast Day."
“In God We Trust” became the national motto under a 1956 law signed by President Dwight Eisenhower.
Janice Rael, vice president of the Delaware Valley chapter of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, said the proposal promotes religion over the absence of religion. She opposes the proposal:
“The last time I checked, God was religious,” Rael said. “The government should be neutral, and with this legislation the government is not neutral, the government is taking a position.”
School Board President Philip Martell, 43, doesn't have a problem with the motto but said of Saccone: “This is what he's spending his day doing? He needs to find more useful legislation. I would hope he's finding ways to solve funding problems facing public schools. That's what the people elected him to do.”
Ultimately, the legislation is problematic for many because the phrase “In God We Trust” conflates patriotism with Christianity, and excludes millions of Americans who are good without God, including atheists, agnostics, secular humanists and other freethinkers.
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