Should public schools display our national motto, In God We Trust? There seems to be a movement in many state legislatures to either allow the display or even mandate it. Does this violate the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to our Constitution?
This year alone, several state legislatures have introduced and even passed bills allowing the motto to be displayed. Some states are mandating the display. Why? Is this another way to place God back in the classroom without directly violating the Constitution?
Of course, the motto itself does not directly violate the Establishment Clause because God is generic and could mean any deity. The motto has been challenged several times in court since its adoption by Congress in 1956. All challenges have failed.
Why do some states want to require this display? It seems to be a way of instilling values in children without explicitly endorsing and specific religion. Of course those would be Judeo-Christian values.
So yes, it’s a way to being God back into public schools. Is this a slippery slope? I don’t think so. But atheists and secularists need to be aware and wary of any attempt to introduce God back into our public schools.