The Lafayette City Parish Council approved a resolution at its meeting Tuesday to install an ‘In God We Trust’ sign at city hall.
The decision was adopted unanimously by the council, after being placed on the agenda by Parish Council President Joey Durel.
“People get a little tired of minority groups of individuals telling the majority what they should be doing,” declared Councilman William Theriot, drawing applause from the meeting. He claimed that Lafayette was majority Christian.
“What better time than now to start this across the country, what can it hurt,” Theriot added.
The unanimity among the councillors did not reflect the feelings among residents.
“America is becoming more divided and politically charged as Conservatives take actions like this,” said Heywood Martin, who raised the issue of the separation between church and state.
Martin also noted that displaying the sign suggested that the government was promoting Christianity over other religions.
“"It's on every nickel and every dollar that we spend, so there's a reason for that. This nation has always believed and trusted in God, and that's bringing people together not dividing people," said State Director of In God We Trust America Mike Fuselier.
Alexander Songe formed the group Lafayette Atheists and Free Thinkers. He said that ‘In God We Trust’ was adopted as a motto during the McCarthy witch-hunts of the early 1950s, proposing instead that ‘One From Many’ be displayed.
“If you're going to have different religious beliefs than the people around you, you're going to have to have a pretty thick skin,” Songe remarked.
"Personal, religious, whatever issues we have, this inclusion in City Hall itself, sort of makes us feel we're not wanted here," said another Lafayette resident.