By Aaron Earls
Several states want to add a visual display of trust in God to public schools, while Kentucky wants to set aside a day for students to demonstrate their trust with prayer.
Several state legislators including those in Tennessee, Arkansas, Florida, South Carolina, and Oklahoma have passed or are considering bills that would at least encourage public schools to display the national motto: “In God We Trust.”
At least 11 states allow or require the phrase to be displayed in schools and public buildings, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
South Carolina Republican State Rep. Mike Burns sponsored the bill in his state saying the nation is on a “slippery slope by pushing God out of the public square.”
Florida State Rep. Kimberly Daniels, a Jacksonville Democrat, sponsored a similar bill in her state, after the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland.
“When we remove God, we remove hope,” she said.
Many of the states’ bills require the displays to be donated or paid for with private funds.
Oklahoma Republican state senator David Holt is unconvinced.
“This is a waste of legislative resources, legislative time,” he said. “It’s a bill that needs to go away so we can focus on issues that really matter.”
Instead of physical displays, the Kentucky Legislature is considering a bill that would require the state’s governor to proclaim the last Wednesday in September “A Day of Prayer for Kentucky’s Students.”
Regina Huff, a Republican state representative and one of five sponsors of the bill, said the proposed law would allow students to pray or meditate before school “in accordance with their own faith and consciences.”
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AARON EARLS (@WardrobeDoor) is online editor of Facts & Trends.