Video of “In God We Trust” rally

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Last month, I wrote about new legislation introduced in the state of Pennsylvania aiming to require public schools across the state to display “In God We Trust.”

Since then, the legislation has advanced through the house education committee (see video). More recently, a rally in support of the legislation was held in the Pennsylvania State Capitol building.

The rally was attended by Rep. Rick Saccone (R-Allegheny) — the bill’s sponsor — Rep. Ron Waters (D-Philadelphia), various members of the Pennsylvania Pastors Network, and about 150 people.

Saccone and supporters of this legislation — in spite of the religious overtones of this legislation — talk about how this is not about religion and instead is about history and a Pennsylvania story, but this rally included a great deal of religious overtones making it even more clear that this legislation is about advancing religious language.

The Lehigh Valley-based The Morning Call, reporting on the rally, had the following to say:

...a rally Wednesday in support of Saccone’s measure, House Bill 1728, turned into a theological synod in the Capitol.

Lawmakers and others loudly called for more religious instruction in public schools despite the constitutional ban on mixing church and state.

“In God we trust,” said Rep. Ron Waters, D-Philadelphia, who commended Saccone for championing the bill and starting a prayer caucus in the Legislature. “[Saccone] gives credit and trust to someone greater than all of us.”

“Yes,” a voice from the crowd answered.

“We have to know that,” Waters continued.

“Yes,” the voice replied.

“Our children have to know that,” Waters said. “… If they know there is a higher authority we should all aspire to, they will be successful no matter what obstacles are in front of them.”

ABC27 also reports on the rally, quoting Saccone,

“As our society spirals into a moral abyss, our children thirst for positive influences and role models to inspire them,” he said at the rally. “The story of our national motto both instructs and inspires. In a world of selfishness and greed, it teaches respect for a higher power than oneself.”

See the rally for yourself and see just how much this legislation is really about advancing religious language in the public schools:

As months go by, religion continues to creep into Pennsylvania’s government proceedings. Whether lawmakers attempt to mandate public schools display “In God We Trust,” mayors consider the free speech of atheists to be “unfortunate,” city councils initiate government-led prayer at council meetings, house representatives approve/introduce “The Year of the Bible” legislation, Prayer Month legislation, The Year of Religious Diversity legislation, an attempt to remove anonymity from individuals engaging in lawsuits seeking to uphold the separation of church and state, an attempt to criminalize “profane discourse” outside houses of worshipNational Fast Day legislation, or American Religious History Week legislation, Pennsylvania lawmakers continue to erode the wall separating church and state. The list sadly continues to grow.

As always, feel free to comment below.

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