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By Hemant Mehta
More than two years ago, Republican legislators in Pennsylvania attempted to pass a bill that would put the words “In God We Trust” in every public school — and possibly every classroom — in the state.
The goal was obvious: The government wanted students to believe in God, as if that were a good thing. It also sent the message that we live in a “Christian nation” (whatever that means).
The bill thankfully went nowhere, which is why Rep. Cris Dush (below) is now trying to do it again.
House Bill 1640 just passed the House Education Committee today. It’ll now go to the full chamber for a vote.
In a memo accompanying his bill, Dush said the motto is part of the history and heritage of the United States. He said former Pennsylvania governor James Pollock, while previously serving as director of the United States Mint in Philadelphia, who first suggested the motto on coins more than 150 years ago.
Among the justifications Dush offers for posting this in public schools?
To increase student understanding of and familiarity with American historical documents, historically important excerpts from or copies of the documents should be prominently displayed in public school buildings.
Great! Let’s get the First Amendment up there along with the Treaty of Tripoli which says the U.S. government “is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion.”
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