A tax collector in Texas decided to print the motto ‘In God We Trust’ on office stationery, receiving both opposition and support in response. Ron Wright, tax assessor and collector in Tarrant County, near Dallas, expressed his desire to print the American motto on envelopes used in his area for as long as a year, saying yearly tax statements will soon flaunt the same.
“I think it was more seeing the elimination of the phrase and how things that have been iconic to us and have been important to us historically because of lawsuits and things like that. People are almost afraid to mention God anywhere officially. All the lawsuits that school districts have had, they’ve sent the message that we’re not allowed to use the word God officially, and of course that’s a mistake because the courts have never said there was a problem with that,” he said.
He explained how people have varying opinions about the national motto, which was signed into law by former US President Dwight Eisenhower in 1956.
“One could look at it and see it as a religious statement, and one could look at it as a patriotic statement and not a religious statement at all,” Wright explained.
Wright said that it cost him only $3 to implement the changes. Some local residents, who recently learnt of Wright’s decision to have the motto printed on official stationery, have gone out of their way to show support.
One said, “It’s awesome. I love it,” while another said, “That’s what [this nation] was founded on.”
On the other hand, some residents criticized the change.
“Those are my tax dollars, and I don’t want them funding a religious opinion. I consider that a violation of the doctrine of separation of church and state. It is true that my coins and bills contain this phrase, but it has been on those for years and I suppose I have grown accustomed. This is something new and a lot closer to home,” resident Leslie Weid Fraser said.
In the past, certain cities have come under fire after using the motto openly but recently, more than 300 municipalities have gone on to adopt the phrase as their own, ever since Jacquie Sullivan, a prominent politician in California encouraged them to do so.
The words ‘In God We Trust’ is believed to have its roots in the Star Spangled Banner, which was written during the War of 1812. This was 40 years after the American Constitution was signed into law and the lyrics stated, “And this be our motto: In God is our trust!”
Photo Credits: IMGur