October 2017 Church & State - October 2016

Calif. City Council Rejects Display Of ‘In God We Trust’ Signs

  AU admin

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.”


Americans United & the National Women’s Law Center file suit to challenge Missouri’s abortion bans.

Abortion bans violate the separation of church and state. Americans United and the National Women’s Law Center—the leading experts in religious freedom and gender justice—have joined forces with thirteen clergy from six faith traditions to challenge Missouri’s abortion bans as unconstitutionally imposing one narrow religious doctrine on everyone.

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