HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – A Pennsylvania lawmaker has reintroduced legislation that would allow public schools to display the national motto “In God We Trust.”
House Bill 1602 was reported out of the State Government Committee last week by a party-line vote of 15-10 and now awaits consideration in the full House.
The proposal by state Rep. Cris Dush (R-Jefferson/Indiana) allows districts to display the motto in school buildings but does not require them to do so.
“What this does, in order that we can actually remember our heritage and where we came from, this will allow the national motto, which again is a national motto set up by the Congress, of ‘In God We Trust’ to be placed in a school without the schools having any need to be concerned with having lawsuits filed against them,” Dush said.
Dush says the motto is part of the history and heritage of the United States. He says James Pollock, the 13th governor of Pennsylvania, introduced the motto on America’s coins while he was the director of the U.S. Mint.
Democrats argue the bill is a government endorsement of religion.
”I do believe that allowing for public schools to put this message in classrooms is an endorsement of a belief of a higher power,” said Rep. Kevin Boyle, the Democratic chair of the committee. “I have that belief, but I don’t want to impose that upon anyone else.”
The bill has been introduced in previous sessions and passed the House in 2016.