Minnesota conservatives clashed with “anti-faith” Democrats who said a bill permitting schools to display “In God We Trust” on campus was offensive.
Democratic Sens. Scott Dibble and John Marty decried the proposed legislation and insinuated that it was discriminatory against non-Christians, according to Fox News Insider. Republican Sen. Dan Hall, who sponsored the bill, said their vehement opposition to the country’s national motto surprised him and that the intent of allowing schools to display the motto was to bring “respect back in schools.”
“God and country is no longer lifted up in a place of honor like it once was. And in part, it seems to be eliminated from our schools. There are those who are afraid to even bring up God and country in our schools,” Hall said on the state senate floor, according to CBS Minnesota.
Minnesota Democrats argued, however, that the having “In God We Trust” displayed in public schools was an unconstitutional government endorsement of religion.
“I’m wondering if Sen. [Dan] Hall would feel the same if students walked in and instead of the word ‘God’ the word ‘Allah’ — which is the word for God in the Muslim religion — welcomes students to their schools,” Dibble said on the state senate floor, according to Fox News Insider.
“The money in my wallet has to say ‘In God We Trust.’ I think that’s offensive,” Marty added.
The legislation, an amendment to an omnibus education policy bill, allows schools to display the motto on a poster that would be privately funded. Hall told “Fox & Friends” that he anticipated opposition, but thought that it would be minor.
“I just figured the opposition would be really short,” Hall said. “When I started hearing more and more of this I thought, really? They don’t want it that much in their schools.”
“My whole premise was, how about bringing respect back in the schools? We’ve lost a lot of respect for those things in life that we should be respecting,” he added.
Hall asserted that an “anti-faith movement” among Democrats was responsible for instances of opposition across the nation not only to the national motto, but also toward all things involving religion and God.
“I only assume that if you take those things out of government, if you take the things that are respectful out, you’re going to put in something different,” he said, according to Fox News. “We need to bring respect back to our country.”
The Minnesota senate passed the amendment, despite the opposition, with a 38-29 vote according to CNS News.
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