A proposal to put the national motto, "In God We Trust," on a town hall and police station in a small North Carolina town was unanimously rejected by a vote.
The board of commissioners in Saluda, North Carolina, made the decision to not place the motto on the government buildings, Inquistr reports. The proposal was introduced with the intention to implement Christian values back into the U.S., Commissioner Carolyn Ashburn told the Tyron Daily Bulletin, reports Inquisitr.
Residents who spoke out against the proposal, some of whom said that they were Christians, cited fears that placing the religious slogan on the buildings would violate the religious freedom of those who observed different faiths.
"As you well know the people of the United States and of Saluda are not made up of merely Christians. We are a far more spiritually diverse community of atheists, Buddhists, Jews, agnostics and Christians to name a few," said Ellen Rogers, a Saluda resident who spoke out against the proposal.
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"'E Pluribus Unum' is the motto of the U.S. as our founding fathers intended. Let us not forget it. In contrast, the use of 'In God We Trust' has been extremely divisive. It intentionally leaves out an entire section of our population," she added.
The vote in Saluda comes soon after a decision in Polk County, where part of Saluda is situated, to place "In God We Trust" signs on several government offices.
The debate over the motto on government property has erupted across the country in recent months. In November 2015, the state of Texas found itself involved in a battle with the Freedom From Religion Foundation, a group that advocates for the separation between church and state, when Texas' Attorney General Ken Paxton said that it did not violate the First Amendment of the Constitution to display a bumper sticker reading "In God We Trust" on a police vehicle, according to Constitution Daily.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation has sent complaints to more than 60 police departments asking them to remove "In God We Trust" decals and stickers from their vehicles.