After Going Back and Forth, Clark County (Washington) Officials Approve “In God We Trust” Display February 25, 2015

After Going Back and Forth, Clark County (Washington) Officials Approve “In God We Trust” Display

A couple weeks ago, I wrote about how Clark County (Washington) officials had tabled a discussion to put up an “In God We Trust” sign after the proposal saw a lot of resistance:

After hearing about two hours of public testimony — during which about two-thirds of the speakers opposed the controversial proposal — [Councilor Tom] Mielke moved to display the national motto in the meeting room.

Councilor Jeanne Stewart, however, said while she would not be offended by the display, it was clear from the protests that some would feel uncomfortable coming to public meetings if “In God We Trust” was posted. Stewart pledged to oppose the motion to cheers and applause from the audience.

No one seconded Mielke’s motion to put up the sign, which effectively put the debate to rest.

But last week, it appeared that the council members had a change of heart. Just to make sure they could pass the proposal without people voicing their opposition, they scheduled a vote on Wednesday afternoon during a meeting that’s traditionally reserved for the board and which the public generally doesn’t attend.

After a lot of pushback, the vote was rescheduled to last night, during a general meeting.

So how did that go?

Clark County leaders voted Tuesday to display “In God We Trust” in the council’s chambers.

[Chairmen David] Madore, who voted in favor of displaying “In God We Trust” in the county building, said it would be “improper and unwise to deny or shun” the national motto Congress has chosen and reaffirmed.

“It’s not to Allah and its not to gods,” he said. “It is what it is and we are not here to change it. We are here to recognize it and cherish and value and respect our heritage.”

The motion passed two to one. Jeanne Stewart, who voted against displaying the motto, said she’d like the commission to wait until all five council seats are filled in the fall.

Might as well put up a sign alongside it that reads, “Atheists and Hindus Not Welcome Here.”

Madore later claimed that the debate over the sign was proof that non-Christians are indeed tolerated… an argument he would never make if the tables were turned and an “In God We Don’t Trust” sign was being put up.

There’s likely no legal recourse here because county officials can just hide behind the “motto” defense, but Clark County citizens have plenty of time to organize and vote these people out of office. Politicians who put their personal religious beliefs above the First Amendment don’t deserve to keep their seats.

(Image via Shutterstock. Thanks to Dustin for the link. Large portions of this article were published earlier)

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