“In God We Trust” has always been a divisive slogan for the United States of America. In a country built upon the principles of religious freedom and founded in part by Benjamin Franklin, a man who insisted that there be a separation between church and state, the phrase is stamped across coins and dollar bills that circulate throughout the country every day.
A new bill proposed by Pennsylvanian Rep. Rick Saccone would require schools throughout the state to display the phrase in classrooms and other public areas, the Morning Call reports.
Although Saccone has a history of supporting legislation with religious motives (the representative also proposed and helped pass a bill declaring 2012 “The Year of the Bible”), the phrase “In God We Trust” does have some connection to the state of Pennsylvania. Gov. James Pollock, the leader of the state during the U.S. Civil war, began printing the phrase on U.S. currency during the war when he was running the U.S. Mint.
Saccone cited a way to interest students in state history as his reason for proposing the bill.
“When Lincoln became president, he appointed Pollock director of the United States Mint. Pollock suggested the motto ‘In God We Trust’ be featured on all United States currency,” a portion of the bill reads.
Saccone claims that the word “God” is used by Christians, Jews and Muslims, so the phrase should not cause religious issues when displayed in public schools. Instead, the representative believes displaying the phrase is a way to get students interested in learning the history of the state, and its former Gov. Pollock.
Many other representatives do not find Saccone’s bill useful, as it doesn’t clearly explain how or why the phrase should be displayed.
If Pollock’s bill is, indeed, deemed worthwhile, the House could vote on the proposed legislation in November.