Religion

Florida Town To Place "In God We Trust" On City Seal

| by Alexander Rubinstein

At the most recent Live Oak City Council Meeting, an item to add “In God We Trust” to the city’s seal was passed.

Some say the official motto of the United States, “In God We Trust,” is patriotic and not religious. Councilman John Yulee Sr. thinks the term is important to the community and that the motto should be reflected on the seal.

At the beginning of every council meeting, those who attend are asked to say the Pledge of Allegiance, which includes the term “under God.”

At the meeting, council members agreed to place the motto on the seal. The decision was made unanimously, according to City Clerk John W. Gill.

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Gill said that Mayor Garth Nobles is working to decide where the motto will be displayed on the seal. There is not currently a timeline for the completion of the new seal, reports WTXL.

Yulee had asked for the item to be discussed at the meeting. He said he wanted to bring it up after wondering why the motto was not on the seal already.

The city seal currently reads “City of Live Oak Florida – Heart of the Suwanee River Valley.”

Suwanee County, home of Live Oak, already has “In God We Trust” on the county seal, Yulee pointed out.

“In God We Trust” is also the motto of the state of Florida.

The phrase became the official motto of the United States in 1956 under President Dwight Eisenhower, but it had first appeared on coins in 1864.

The phrase’s designation as the national motto and its placement on money came at the height of the Cold War, and near the end of the second Red Scare, roughly 1947-1957, where Americans had heightened fear of communists.

The move was in part to distinguish the U.S. from the Soviet Union’s atheistic agenda.

Secularists who advocate for a separation of church and state have questioned the constitutionality of the motto under the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.

The motto was challenged by a lawsuit in 1970, but the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that “It is quite obvious that the national motto and the slogan on coinage and currency ‘In God We Trust’ has nothing whatsoever to do with the establishment of religion.”

The Supreme Court also held that the government’s recognition of God is not unconstitutional.

Sources: Opposing Views (2), WTXL

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