July 20, 2015
GRAHAM — Signs proclaiming “In God We Trust” were erected Thursday on two Alamance County buildings and within the Alamance County Board of Commissioners’ chambers.
County leaders voted in favor of the signs after the US Motto Action Committee appeared before the board in April. The signs, located outside the county’s administration building and courthouse, were paid for by Lowe Memorial Baptist Church.
“Because we believe it,” Lowe Memorial Pastor Bill Gindlesperger said. “In God We Trust. We believe that, and the way the nation is going now, we believe that even more. We are told to trust in the Lord and to have no confidence in man.”
“In God We Trust” has been the country’s national motto since 1956, and the US Motto Action Committee was formed after the Davidson County Board of Commissioners was sued for placing the motto on government buildings. That case went all the way to the U.S. Court of Appeals in 2005, when it was decided in favor of the county.
“The County installation of the national motto on the façade of the Government Center constitutes a governmental action which goes beyond the traditional uses of the phrase,” the court ruled, but “the complaint fails to sufficiently allege that the display had no legitimate secular purpose; that it has the effect of advancing or endorsing religion; or that results in an excessive entanglement of government and religion. As a result, we agree with the comprehensive analysis made by the District Court, with regard to dispute, and conclude that the complaint fails to state a claim for relief under the Establishment Clause upon which relief can be granted.”
Alamance County Commissioners Chairman Dan Ingle couldn’t be reached for comment but has said previously he believed that the nation was founded on Judeo-Christian principles.
Ron Baity, pastor of Berean Baptist Church and member of the US Motto Action Committee, said this sends a message about the historical motto.
“This nation is certainly based on Judeo-Christian values, and there was never any question early on about whether this nation endorsed God,” he said. “… It’s only until recently we have begun to gravitate in another direction. It’s necessary for us to pick up our historical roots and remind people who we are and where we came from.”
He commended the commissioners for agreeing to place the signs on government buildings.
Fred McClure, treasurer of the committee, said 17 cities and 32 counties have agreed to place the motto on their government buildings.
“Every time we do one, it is a celebration,” he said. “It’s a great thing we are accomplishing. We are trying to get our national heritage on as many buildings as we can.”
This story was posted with permission of the Burlington Time News.