Lawmakers seek ‘In God We Trust’ in Minn. schools

Minnesota lawmakers could soon find themselves debating the place of God in public schools.

A bill introduced Thursday would require school boards to post “a durable poster or framed copy” of the motto “In God We Trust” in every school building. Administrators could solicit private dollars to do it.

State Sen. Dan Hall, R-Burnsville, is the chief sponsor. Hall, a chaplain and former Christian school principal, said it’s as much about American history as it is religion.

A joint resolution passed by Congress and approved by President Dwight Eisenhower in 1956 made it the nation’s official motto.

“This is ‘In God We Trust.’ It’s not ‘In Jesus We Trust’ or ‘In Muhammad We Trust,’” Hall said. “It’s ‘In God We Trust.’ I think it’s time we do some of those things and encourage the people of faith.”

But Hall said there are other motivations as well.

“It feels like there is a movement that is anti-faith. And people don’t always understand the dynamics between church and state,” Hall said. “And they think it’s supposed to be completely separate. And yet from our founding fathers it was never separate.”

That argument isn’t flying with everyone.

August Berkshire, who is on the board of Minnesota Atheists, said his group would likely mobilize to oppose the bill if it gets a hearing.

“It violates the separation of church and state by making it look like the school takes an official position of whether a God exists.”

The bill was referred to the Senate Education Committee for consideration. A House companion has yet to be introduced.

  • Jeff Gunn

    Why do people like Mr. Hall feel that they have to have their particular faith pushed onto everyone, everywhere? Why are they not content with practicing their faith at home. Or their churches? Is their faith so weak that they need a constant reminder of it wherever they go? Or, is it about control? Not only do they have control over what our children learn, but they want control over what our children believe.

  • SoZo

    I wonder how Hall would feel about putting up posters that say “In Allah we trust”

  • Ben Urban

    Maybe Hall could introduce a companion bill that requires the posting of Stormy Daniel’s photograph in all schools. It could hang next to their trust in god postings to underscore the utter moral degeneracy of these evangelical clowns.

    • Brian Westley

      It would probably improve attendance!

    • Chriso

      Next to Al Frankin cupping a sleeping woman front side…

      • markinator

        Epic fail.

  • Charlie Oakes

    Thomas Jefferson was Unitarian and Ben Franklin was an on and off atheist.

  • Garth Foley

    I have looked many times for the phrase “in God we trust ” in the Constitution, and have not found it yet.

  • David Hlavac

    “And they think it’s supposed to be completely separate. And yet from our founding fathers it was never separate.” Yeah, I think the establishment clause proves otherwise…

  • Eric

    Haha they misspelled it. It’s America so “In GUNS we trust”

    • atheistcable

      Hmm. This makes me wonder. If I were in school, I would be an outspoken atheist in classes where all the Christian teachers were armed.

  • mpjt16

    Hall wants another method to brainwash the kids in school. He should understand that it is called “faith” not “fact”. Lets teach facts in school, not myths and superstitions that he happens to think are real. There are no facts specific to his or anyone else god or God. They are all convenient places to retreat to when you don’t understand something.

    • ktc

      It belongs in a religious studies course, that’s all.

      • markinator

        Not even there. You’ll have freaks claiming you’re not teaching it properly.

  • Brian Westley

    Just another selfish Christian trying to pee his god all over other people’s children.

  • Guzzman

    This bill to mandate the posting of “In God We Trust” in public schools is just an attempt to proselytize school children. IGWT is divisive and divides people along religious lines.

    The phrase “E Pluribus Unum” also appears on our money and our national seal. So why aren’t they mandating the prominent display of “E Pluribus Unum” in public schools? Could it be that certain politicians just want to pander to their religious constituents by using government to selfishly promote their religious beliefs?

    • Erin Frances Gunderson

      “E Pluribus Unum” is a much more practical motto for our nation because not only does it represent the coming together of the states to form the USA as a whole, but also represents the diversity of people in our nation coming together as Americans.

  • Marc Friedman

    Completely ridiculous. Keep your faith in your home and house of worship. We don’t need our kids brainwashed in yet another location.

  • DH3

    This is a slippery slope that ends with Boko Haram. Republicans want obedient serfs who won’t question the status quo and this is part of their war on public education. The goal of public education instead is to prepare young people for engaged citizenship which is a definite threat to the conservative agenda.

  • AlecMN

    American Taliban is at it again.

  • atheistcable

    In a school where “In God We Trust” is posted, how secure would LGBTs feel? Or outspoken atheists?

  • Sue Wipp

    NO NO NO!!!!!

  • sally forth

    You might want to view “God’s Not Dead”. Notice that I’m not “pushing” this onto you; it is a matter of free choice. Free choice is what God gave all of us. Make sure you put your ladder on the right building as you climb to the top. It may be that you won’t like the view after you reach it. Just sayin … .

    • Rookheight

      If you’re a supporter of not pushing religious views on others, I’m sure you’ll agree that the government shouldn’t mandate that religious messages be put on all public school buildings.

      Students should be free to decide what they believe without the government telling them to trust in one or several gods.