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

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.

Ark. Requires Religious Motto In Public Schools

Public school students in Arkansas who returned to classes last month saw something new: signs reading “In God We Trust” in classrooms and school libraries.

The signs are the result of a new law in Arkansas that mandates that elementary and secondary schools must display a framed picture or poster of “In God We Trust” above an American flag in their libraries and classrooms. 

Legal Lesson: Texas Lt. Gov. Is Clueless About American History And The First Amendment

It seems Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has a poor understanding of both American history and the First Amendment. So let’s take a few moments to educate him.

In a recent viewpoint piece published by the San Antonio Express-News, Patrick attempted to argue that religious freedom is under attack in the United States, which is contradictory to America’s “Christian nation” roots.

Our Top Stories: Ten Prominent Church-State Flaps From 2015

As 2015 winds down, you’ll encounter a lot of lists – best movies of the year, what’s hot and what’s not and so on. Well, here’s our version of that: a list of what we at “The Wall of Separation” consider to be the Top Ten church-state stories of 2015:

Ala. County Police Cars Lose Bible Verse Decals Following AU Intervention

Stickers with biblical verses will no longer be attached to police cars in an Alabama county, thanks to Americans United.

The Houston County Sheriff’s Department put stickers on its vehicles that read “Blessed Are The Peacemakers,” a Bible verse from Matthew 5:9. That message encircled the official badge of the department. After Americans United got word of this clear instance of government endorsing religion, it sent a complaint letter to the sheriff’s department in early August. (The Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation later sent a letter as well.)

The Invention Of A Christian America

Editor’s Note: Steven K. Green is the Fred H. Paulus Professor of Law and director of the Center for Religion, Law & Democracy at Willamette University College of Law in Salem, Oregon. Green, who served as legal director of Americans United from 1992—2001, is the author of several books on church-state relations, most recently Inventing a Christian America: The Myth of the Religious Founding (Oxford University Press). Green dis­cussed his new book with Church & State Editor Rob Bos­ton recently.

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