The U.S. Motto Action Committee has successfully urged government officials in 33 counties and more than 20 cities in North Carolina to display the national motto, “In God We Trust.”
The phrase has been approved for mounting in at least once government building in the counties of Stokes, Randolf, Rockingham and Alamance counties. It was mounted at three locations in Graham in Alamance County, including The Criminal Courts Building, Administration Building, and inside of the commissioner’s meeting room, reports My Fox 8.
The U.S. Motto Action Committee is attempting to convince local governments throughout the entire state to display the motto. The group has been working towards that aim since 2002, after Davidson County commissioners approved the display on a government building.
The display was challenged in a lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), on the basis that the display was unconstitutional under the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the Constitution, which prohibits government from endorsing religion, The Times News reported.
Both the district court and court of appeals upheld the move. Later, the United States Supreme Court rejected the appeal, reported WCNC.
Fred McClure, a member of the U.S. Motto Committee, said in video for My FOX 8, “They lost. They appealed it, they lost. They went to the Supreme Court, the Supreme Court refused to hear it. It is established as ‘OK’. The ACLU has no standing.”
The Motto Committee was formed after Davidson County’s legal battle. It is a private company funded through private donations. Now in good legal standing, the Committee’s mission is to spread the display throughout the state.
In Alamance County, Pasto Bill Gindlesperger of Lowe Memorial Baptist Church, helped raise $3,000 to get the motto erected in the three locations in Graham.
Organizers with the Committee say they plan to approach county and city leaders in Guilford and Forsyth counties. They think it will be harder to sell the display in “more metropolitan” areas. First, they hope to gain support from neighboring cities and counties.
When asked about the motto group’s recent success, an ACLU representative said, “Government buildings should welcome all members of the community equally, not just those who share the majority religious view. People who practice a different religion, or no religion at all, should not be made to feel like outsiders when they enter their local courthouse or government office.”
Photo Credit: Screenshot via My Fox 8