A Washington county community has added two plaques to a public building with little fanfare, after multiple debates about the issue last year.
In January, the Pierce County, Washington, officials placed two handmade and locally-crafted plaques on the wall inside the council chamber.
The first reads, "In God We trust," the U.S. national motto. Underneath the first sign, another has the phrase, "El Pluribus Unum, " which is Latin for "out of many, one."
Last July, community members and public officials debated about the merits of adding the plaques to the council chamber wall.
Councilmember Jim McCune, the sponsor of the proposal, said he thinks the sign will show the councilmembers’ patriotism and love of country.
“'In God We Trust' is universal,” McCune said. “It doesn’t have 'In Muhammad We Trust,' it doesn’t have 'In Jesus We Trust.'”
According to the United States Mint, Congress passed a law in 1956 that made "In God We Trust" the national motto of the United States. The prior year, Congress had also mandated all official U.S. coinage and paper currency to have the phrase.
Residents in the area, however, said they do not think any type of religious rhetoric should be in a place where official government business occurs.
Tacoma resident Adam Smith, who opposes the sign, said he thinks the words give the impression that the community is not inclusive and welcoming.
After two hours of public debate and police escorting one person out of the room after making malicious comments about some religions, the council voted in favor of the measure 4-3.
According to the News Tribute, no ceremonial dedication for the plaques occurred. The plaques now hang in the back corner of the council chamber, next to the heating and air conditioning controls, and the video production booth window.