Officials in a central California city have voted against displaying the “In God We Trust” motto inside city council chambers.
Visalia Councilman Steve Nelsen proposed the display because he said he wanted to unify residents, according to the Visalia Times-Delta.
“I tried to bring a unifying comment,” he said. “‘In God We Trust’ is something that identifies us as Americans.”
Visalia Mayor Warren Gubler said no one from the public indicated support for displaying the motto; instead, many took to social media to oppose the display.
“We have people of many different faiths,” Gubler said. “We want the chamber to be welcome for everybody who wants to speak. It wasn’t something to put on the walls.”
Officials also said they felt “In God We Trust,” which was named the nation’s official motto by Congress in 1956, didn’t reflect the issues being dealt with at the local level.
“There are so many issues of national importance that everybody has an opinion on,” said Councilman Greg Collins, who opposed the display. “This is better debated in another public forum. City hall is trying to get opinions on the matters we deal with day to day.”