A town board in Troutman, North Carolina, voted unanimously earlier this month to install an ‘In God We Trust’ sign somewhere on the outside of the town hall building.
The motion in support of displaying the slogan was proposed by the US Motto Action Committee and passed without debate.
"Most people come here before you asking for money or something else," Rich Lanier, from the Motto Action Committee, told the council during his presentation. "I'm here to give you something."
The move is expected to cost between $800 and $1200, and Lanier confirmed the money had already been secured from a private donor.
"It's a reminder of our Judeo-Christian values and heritage," Lanier claimed. "It's a reminder to invite God into our lives and into the decisions we make."
With its vote, Troutman became the 43rd municipality or county in North Carolina to support the displaying of the motto, which was declared to be the US national motto by the Eisenhower administration in 1956.
"I'm hearing from leaders of towns and counties that they are tired of getting bullied by these small groups who don't represent the majority of the people," Lanier told the Statesville Record & Landmark in an interview following the vote.
Lanier was a co-founder of the US Motto Action Committee, which was set up in 2002 in Davidson County. Davidson became the first county in North Carolina to display an ‘In God We Trust’ sign in the same year, and its right to do so was upheld in an Appeals Court ruling, according to WCNC.
Although it did not challenge Troutman in this case, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has previously opposed similar moves in other areas.
It was an ACLU legal challenge that led to the Appeals Court ruling in favor of Davidson County. The organization had argued that it violated the separation of church and state.