GREENBRIER COUNTY, WV (WVNS) – The phrase, “In God we trust” could soon be required in every West Virginia public school building.
Senate Bill 251 was approved by the state senate on January 30th. If the bill does become a law, it would require a poster featuring the American Flag, the West Virginia State Flag, and the phrase “In God we trust” to be featured prominently in every public school in the state, including colleges.
We spoke to parents at Eastern Greenbrier Middle School about the proposed change, and opinions were split.
“It’s about time we put it back in there,” said Randolph Baker.
“Some kids are not Christian and they are going to feel excluded because it says, ‘In God we trust.’ Maybe they are, whatever religion they may be. I just don’t think it should be that way,” said Samuel Sizemore.
“I know a lot of folks aren’t necessarily Christian, but if you look at it, the more we go secular, the more we go away from things like Christianity, the worse the country gets,” said Scott Taylor.
Vince Deeds (R- 10th District), one of the sponsors of the bill, represents Greenbrier County in the state senate.
He argued the phrase is not religious in nature, because it does not specify a certain religion.
“It doesn’t go down to denominations or religious beliefs. Ultimately it just recognizes that there is a higher power than the human race,” said Deeds.
Deeds also added he does not believe the bill violates the separation between church and state because the phrase “In God we trust” was made the official motto of the United States in the 1950s.
“That’s why President Eisenhower wanted to have this displayed on our currency back in 1956, I believe it was,” Deeds told 59News. “He felt it was important for us to remember where our position is and where our authority comes from.”
Although some parents we spoke to admitted they felt it would be an overreach by the government to force the phrase into public schools.