Urge Howell schools to display national motto: In God We Trust poster

Please join AFA-Michigan in urging Howell Public School officials to join other school districts across Michigan in displaying posters that feature the official motto of the United States: “In God We Trust.”

E-mail Howell Schools Supt. Charles Breiner at:
or call 517-548-6200

Howell, Michigan
June 29, 2005

(Letter to the Editor)

Howell schools say no to U.S. motto

The Howell Public School Board formally approved displaying the officially recognized “gay pride” flag, despite the constant school disruptions and offense it causes many students and parents, but they refuse to join other school districts across Michigan in displaying the official motto of the United States: “In God We Trust”?

Let’s give school board President Mary Jo Dymond the benefit of the doubt and assume it was simply ignorance or confusion that led her to say that “until all of this is settled in our Supreme Court, we feel it would be inappropriate to accept” a local parents’ group’s offer to donate enough posters of the national motto for every classroom in Howell.

Displaying the official motto of the United States is not something waiting to be “settled” by the Supreme Court. Federal courts long ago approved the motto and its display as fully constitutional.

The motto has appeared on U.S. coins and currency since the Civil War. It’s painted in six-inch-high letters in the rotunda of the state Capitol in Lansing.

Both the Legislature and the Congress have overwhelmingly approved legislation “strongly encouraging” display of the motto in public schools and government buildings; some states require it by law. And hundreds of school classrooms and state, county, and city offices across Michigan already display posters featuring the motto “In God We Trust.”

Michigan state law — approved in 2001 by a 31-2 vote in the Michigan Senate and 105-1 in the Michigan House — reads as follows: “This state strongly encourages each state agency and unit of local government to exercise their constitutional ability to place the national motto ‘In God We Trust’ in or on public buildings or land owned or occupied by that state agency or unit of local government.”

Perhaps Ms. Dymond would be more impressed by what the ACLU says.

The Grand Rapids Press reported in June 2000: “Carrie Moss, executive director of the Michigan chapter of the ACLU, said fighting (displays of the national motto ‘In God We Trust’ in government buildings) would be difficult. ‘It’s language that has been upheld by the Supreme Court for our money. They decided it didn’t necessarily promote any religion, so I think it would be difficult to make an issue about it,’ Moss said.”

President Dymond and other school board members: The American Family Association of Michigan and Michigan ACLU both agree that the issue was long ago “settled” by the Supreme Court. Now that that’s settled, should Howell parents assume the school board will accept the offered donation and gladly display posters featuring our official national motto?

Or will school board members continue to display only divisive, controversial symbols that fit their own narrow concept of “diversity,” while still refusing to display the unifying motto of the United States that’s overwhelmingly supported by Americans, including those in Howell?

Gary Glenn, President
American Family Association of Michigan

Related Link: hometownlife.com

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