Written by Don Byrd

Over the weekend, the Washington Post published a piece taking note of the fact that numerous states this year have passed laws authorizing or mandating local governments to post the phrase “In God We Trust” in public schools. The laws are part of an organized effort by advocates to increase religious references in public spaces including public schools.

Here is an excerpt:

Florida is one of seven states this year that passed laws requiring or permitting schools and other public buildings to post “In God We Trust.” Arkansas passed a similar measure in 2017, and Arizona this year allowed schools to post in English the state’s motto, which appears in Latin on the state seal: “God Enriches.”

Some states and lawmakers have gone further, fighting to allow or require the Ten Commandments in public schools and public places. Voters in Alabama this month overwhelmingly passed a ballot initiative that permits the Ten Commandments to be posted on government-funded property. Backers hope it spurs litigation, hopeful that the U.S. Supreme Court and its conservative majority would rule in their favor.

As I posted earlier this year, the “In God We Trust” initiatives are just the first phase of an effort to introduce increasingly ambitious legislation the aim of which is to expand religion’s footprint in public institutions. Stay tuned.