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Pierce County Council narrowly votes to put up ‘In God We Trust’ plaque

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Pierce County Councilman Jim McCune pointed out that the motto is on U.S. currency. "You might have it in your pocket, you might carry it around with you every day," McCune said. "Most people do." (Photo: KCPQ-TV)

TACOMA — Despite some opposition, the Pierce County Council voted 4-3 Tuesday to display a plaque in its chambers that reads, “In God We Trust.”

Before approving the proposal, the council amended it to add the Latin phrase “e pluribus unum” — or ‘from many, one.’


Pierce County Councilman Jim McCune says he had no idea that his proposal to display a plaque in the council chambers that reads ‘In God We Trust’ would cause  a problem.

“The fact that we`re even talking about who God is, it’s music to God`s ears,” Douglas White, a supporter of the idea, said outside council chambers Monday.

“Our beliefs and what we stand for and our values don`t matter in those chambers, that`s the message they`re sending,” said opponent Sam Mulvey, alluding to the constitutional separation of church and state.

McCune pointed out that the motto is on U.S. currency.

“You might have it in your pocket, you might carry it around with you every day,” McCune said. “Most people do.”

most people do)

McCune insists he suggested the notion purely out of U.S. tradition.

"Our national heritage for one. And it's patriotic to have this display of the national model; it was passed into law by Congress and signed by Dwight Eisenhower and it's something I cherish myself," McCune said.

Those who oppose the idea, like Mulvey said they feel it excludes them from the conversation of local government.

"God to me is not a positive concept," Mulvey said. "I don`t believe in a god and I find religion overall to be a fairly negative force."

McCune said he had no idea his proposal would cause such a problem.

"Some people just do not like the word (God), period," McCune said. "And they will claim separation of church and state every time you bring up the word."



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  • alice smith

    What’s depressing about this article is the general ignorance displayed. There is nothing “Constitutional” about the phrase “separation of church and state”. It’s NOT in the Constitution… you will not find it. Personally, I think this is why we’ve got the problems that we do in this country with regards to the stealing of our freedoms by the government. There has been a mass dumbing down of our population as to the Constitution, Bill of Rights, and Declaration of Independence. Please people, take the time to read and find out what built this country and our freedom. If you even take the time to do 5 minutes of research you’d discover this phrase about the separation of church and state was from a letter Thomas Jefferson wrote to the Danbury Baptists ASSURING them that the state would not bother them.

    • John Fuller

      You are absolutely correct. Separation of church and state was originally intended to assure religious freedoms so that the state could NOT dictate the rights of citizens and inhibit religious institutions in regards to unalienable rights. Liberals redefined the term so that the church could not observe unalienable rights due to government fascism and to promote the Gay Agenda.

      • Redorblack Nigelbottom

        Or if you look at the history of the colonies where each colony had it’s own official religion which wielded a lot of power (Mass. and Benjamin Franklin escaping to Philly is a really good example… family fight with the Puritan Church over their stance on vaccinations which got his brother jailed), you might understand who has actually been rewriting/redefining the concept. The right is rather good at just redefining things to flip them on their head. Like your use of Liberals as if it’s a dirty word, because you need something to counter the fact that the conservatives have been on the wrong side of every issue in US history.

    • Redorblack Nigelbottom

      Alice, There is NO mention of God in the Constitution, the Bill of Rights or the Declaration of Independence. Ever wonder why when you believe this nation was formed as a Christian nation or under the bible? You like every other person spewing the same line Councilmember McCune also used, ignore all the other documents that blow your argument out of the water. Go read the Treaty of Tripoli, go actually read Jefferson’s letter to the Danbury Baptists. Rather than having you rely on the summary of a religious group, here is the main paragraph.

      “Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should “make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” thus building a wall of separation between Church & State. Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties.”

      Nope, nothing in there saying.. :”Hey, go ahead and plaster your religious icons on the walls of our government offices!” Don’t mix your government and religion… how freaking hard is that? Do you think your God wants his name on the walls of a secular government? Do you think he requires it on your money? Or is that about propping up your beliefs over others? Or is what Dan Roach said true…”To some God may mean marijuana… to others…” As he tried to also claim “No controversy” and it’s unifying while alienating about a 1/4 of the local population.

      We aren’t mad at your God, we are mad at you hypocrites that are constantly pushing your religious displays into the public square. Problem is, a lot of us atheists have read your bible and know a lot more about it than you or the councilmember. While claiming this is something he wanted for a long time, and that he is representing his constituents, he is taking pre-filled out form from an out of state group verbatim to create this resolution. And during testimony I fully expect this tool of an out of state religious group that has the goal of chipping away at the wall of separation to complain once again about people commenting from outside of Pierce County.

      • Arthur Bigotti

        Actually, the Declaration of Independence mention’s God in the first paragraph. On top of that, the notion that man was CREATED by a CREATOR who gives inalienable rights is at the foundation of the declaration.

        Granted this is a somewhat generic notion of God with no assignment of creed, you are wrong when you say there is NO mention of God. In fact, much of the writings of the foundation of our country is steeped with religion and religious thought. It’s who the people were and what they were influenced what they created.

        I’m the last one who wants a person to push their religious views on me (in the matter of creating laws) however, I am the first to defend their right to do it. It’s what makes our society function. We are a collective of people who have diverse views and opinions. The religious should have the same right to express their opinion as the atheist his.

      • James Olson

        The Preamble of the constitution of the US says “…and are endowed by their CREATOR”, (God),” with certain unalienable rights….” right Andrew?

  • Sam

    Actually Alice, his use of that phrase was a direct reference to a portion of the First Amendment (Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.). The separation of church and state is a part of our constitution via the Bill of Rights.

    As for the words “In God We Trust” it is not only a religious statement, it is a specifically Christian statement and in my opinion should be removed from use as both a national motto and as a permanent fixture on US currency. Here is what the US Treasury says about the history of the phrase: http://www.treasury.gov/about/education/Pages/in-god-we-trust.aspx

    The letters written at that time insisting upon the use of the phrase are truly offensive to any non Christian. Perhaps our state representatives should devote their time to making a difference in our communities, rather than trying to add a plaque to their own council chambers. What a waste.

  • Brad Tower

    The First Amendment to the United States Constitution provides that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof …” and Article VI specifies that “no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.” Justice Hugo Black wrote: “In the words of Thomas Jefferson, the clause against establishment of religion by law was intended to erect a wall of separation between church and state.”

  • Dale Presler

    Why are they wasting my tax dollars to promote a religious ideology? Keep Gawd in your homes and in your churches if you want, but keep it out of buildings paid for by all taxpayers.

  • Paul Macy

    The same people who support this councilman’s ideas as representing religious freedom would be screaming at the top of their lungs if someone proposed putting up a plaque saying “trust in Allah”

  • Dan

    Needs a little change. “In the Christen god we trust” that way we know which of the gods they trust in. Or when a Muslim is in control it can be “in Allah peace be on him we trust”

  • Ted

    People don’t care about your religion, just stop sticking it in peoples face…. and get back to work, you’re wasting taxpayers money.

    • sv1g

      That was my first thought too, Ted. They really don’t have anything better to do? If that’s the case, there’s some folks who need to be unemployed very soon. Cramming your religion down other peoples’ throats should not be a priority when the taxpayers are writing your paycheck.

  • Cindy Ligtenberg Sween

    I get tired of people getting butt-hurt over words. It’s like our world is getting chock full of whiny children who need mommy to cover their eyes and ears so they don’t get upset. Some people get offended at ‘In God We Trust’. Poor baby! You read four words that made you uncomfortable? Here’s a quarter…call someone who cares. I see stuff all the time that I don’t like, but rather than throw a tantrum, I shrug and move on. If you need someone to complain about this, and expect everyone else to cater to your comfy zone, please surrender all things that mark you as an adult, because you aren’t one.

  • Dennis (@scoobywood69)

    Whats wrong with that, we are suppose to be a nation that accepts all peoples and their religions, besides our country was founded on Christianity was it no? no matter what form it comes in. I say to hell with all the haters out there, they just need to grow up. This coming from someone that does not believe in GOD, I can look past my petty differences and honor others and their beliefs no matter how silly I find them to be. Besides In GOD we Trust is on our currency and in the Constitution, our founders thought it important enough. I say deal with it or move to some other Country, if this one does not suit you that is your right as well. I for one am sick and tired of all those out there that complain about things that are really just trivial, there are more important issues that need to be dealt with, like how our nation is heading down the toilet, and its mostly because of all you closed minded individuals that get offended with a few words, or a certain group of people.

  • progmetal420

    I’m an atheist, but I don’t care. It’s still on the currency. Some things don’t need to be taken literally.

  • Andrew Bush

    The only proof of this Fictional Sky Monster we have is that thousands of his snake oil salesmen raped over a MILLION children around the world since the 1960s.

    These are the republican teabag anti-gay, anti, women, anti-abortion, anti anyone non-christian extremists doing these things in our government offices. The woman who initiated it is a tea partier pulling this crap in other states too.

    Aint it great? Next we will see what they can do with this new found power of religion over government to control people who don’t believe in their fictional world.

    These people want to stop all abortions, block access to contraceptives, fire people just for being gay, stop gay people from getting married. Stop gay couples from adopting a child and some want to outlaw divorce. Its all about control.

    Are these people going to be looking at your children or grandchildren as they grow older and see a reason for them to be punished too? They claim to be doing these things in the name of god and now they are branding our government offices with it.

    Hundreds of Millions of innocent people through history have been tortured and murdered in the name of this Fictional BEAST.

    Look at the hurt and pain the Creatures followers inflict even today against people they don’t even know.

    This is NOT inclusive of everyone and we all know it.