The first of four “In God We Trust” granite plaque signs debuted this week in Anderson County, Tennessee on the outside of the local courthouse.
“This is people standing up for what they believe in. We have a right to the democratic process and majority rule," Calvary Baptist Church Pastor Steve McDonald told Oak Ridge Today.
“Whether you agree with this or disagree with this, the democratic process took place. The majority of the U.S. citizens will continue to believe, and will not be ashamed to say, ‘In God We Trust,’” added Clinton Baptist Association Director of Missions Tom Byrge.
After the sign was unveiled, a local family sang "God Bless America" followed by "This Land is Your Land," a Woody Guthrie protest song written in response to Irving Berlin's "God Bless America" (video below).
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“We need God in it,” resident Charles Bivens told WATE-TV. “We need a God thing. If we don’t have a God thing we’re going backwards. Amen.”
But whose God? That's the question the ACLU brought up in February when the Anderson County Commission voted for the signs.
“People of all faiths, as well as non-believers, should feel welcome in their government buildings,” ACLU-Tennessee Executive Director Hedy Weinberg told KnoxNews.com earlier this year.
“The County Commission should focus on doing real work that represents the interests of all residents, not sowing the seeds of religious divisiveness in the community by challenging the fundamental founding principle that government must remain neutral when it comes to matters of faith.”
Sources: Oak Ridge Today, WATE-TV, KnoxNews.com