'In Dissenters We Trust':77-Year-Old Man Petitions To Have New Motto Displayed Next To 'In God We Trust'

| by Tony Tran
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A man in Vancouver recently stormed out the Board of County Councilors meeting shortly before the council voted two to one in favor of displaying the motto "In God We Trust" on the meeting room's wall.

The Columbian reports George Thomas, a 77-year-old "dissenter" of religion, filed a petition to ask that the county also display "In Dissenters We Believe" alongside the national motto in the Clark County meeting room.

"I believe myself and other excluded citizens whose efforts and importance to American history run as deeply throughout American history as those who trust in god are due equal historical status and equal representation under the law," he wrote in his petition. "And that the Council ought not to move forward with displaying the motto, IN GOD WE TRUST, until such time as Clark County's dissenters are included in the design and/or the matter is adjudicated to higher authorities than the Clark County Commission."

As he left the meeting room on Tuesday, Thomas began shouting, "Sic semper tyrannis," a Latin phrase which means , "Thus always to tyrants."

His petition currently has one signature on it: his own.

Thomas has also contacted the American Civil Liberties Union in order to gain legal counsel for the case.

"I've been a citizen my whole life," Thomas told reporters. "I was born here, and they're excluding me from the motto, the American motto. That can't stand."

County Manager Mark McCauley told reporters that the petition would probably not get any favor from the council.

"Certainly we would consider it, and chances are we would just disregard it," he told reporters. "I don't believe that our councilors would take up a discussion of it. Petitions, they haven't historically been a way to get business done around here."

Earlier in February, the Clark County council voted to deny the motto going up on the meeting walls. However, this has changed as of last week.

The issue of placing the national motto has been the subject of controversy for counties and cities all over the nation. A North Carolina community was recently in the midst of backlash after the councilors decided to put "In God We Trust" on the courthouse wall.


Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons, Kevin Dooley/Flickr