Religion

Florida's Venice City Votes 5-2 Against 'In God We Trust' In Council Chambers

| by Khier Casino

Florida’s Venice City Council decided not to place the official motto of the United States, “In God We Trust,” in the council chambers at City Hall.

The council voted 5-2 last month against the idea, according to WWSB ABC 7.

“The question of God in the government should be avoided,” [resident Raymond] Schiller told the station. “It just raises too many issues and it isn’t necessary.”

Schiller spoke on behalf of other residents who opposed adding an “In God We Trust” plaque in the council chambers, saying it may have been appropriate back then, but not now.

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“The secular community is growing,” he said. “To have a sign like that may have been appropriate 60 years ago.”

Resident Jim Walker spoke on behalf of those in favor of the plaque, saying he was disappointed in the decision but he will abide by it.

"I understand that there are people out there who do not like having the word ‘God’ in our society but it does still remain that it is our national motto, state motto and just throughout our society," Walker told WWSB.

Last month, we reported on David Williamson of the Central Florida Freethought Community and Marie Glidewell of the Gulf Coast Humanists Association asking the Venice City Council to keep religion out of politics.

“This is not a chamber of the majority, it is a chamber of all,” Williamson said.

Michael Barfield of the American Civil Liberties Union said that separation of church and state should not be broken, saying: “That phrase is noted to be not neutral. It is distinctly Christian.”

While no sign will be installed in the council chamber, activists say we have not heard the end of this issue.

Sources: WWSB ABC 7, Opposing Views / Photo Credit: Kevin Dooley/Flickr Creative Commons, WFMY News 2