The Board of Commissioners in Stokes County, North Carolina, is considering a proposal to have an “In God We Trust” sign put up at the county courthouse by a private group.
The displaying of such signs has been promoted by the U.S. Motto Action Committee throughout the state, and according to the group, the motto is now displayed on public buildings in more than 20 cities and counties.
Stephen Hewitt, an army veteran, is attempting to resist the move. Following the commissioners’ agreement to display the “In God We Trust” sign, he submitted a request to the latest meeting on April 27 that an alternative motto be debated: “In Reason We Trust.”
Speaking to WXII, Hewitt said everyone should be treated equally when accessing public buildings, and the displaying of such a religious sign implied that they would not be.
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His point was in line with concerns raised previously by the American Civil Liberties Union over plans to put “In God We Trust” signs on public buildings in other counties.
The ACLU stated the move would call in to question the separation of church and state established in the U.S. Constitution.
Hewitt was also involved in a previous campaign to restrict the flying of religious flags at a local memorial for army veterans.
Supporters counter that the U.S. Congress passed a motion in 2011 declaring “In God We Trust” to be the national motto.
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They also point to an Appeals Court judgment in response to the decision of Davidson County, North Carolina, to put up similar signs on its public buildings in 2002. The Appeals Court ruled that the signs were legal.
Stokes County commissioners are to deliberate on both options and take a vote at their next meeting on May 11.
Photo Credit: Churchandstate.org.uk