PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — It’s part of a national effort to honor the motto “In God We Trust” led in Pennsylvania by state Rep. Rick Saccone who rallied folks at the state capitol last November.
“Thank you, oh my gosh, thank you. Praise the Lord. I’m so glad to be here,” said Saccone.
The goal — to post the national motto in public buildings, including schools, throughout the Commonwealth — saying references to God are not an unconstitutional violation of church and state.
“Just take a look around this building,” Saccone told his audience. “It’s full of more than 50 references to God, the Scriptures and the Bible. It’s everywhere.”
Now, Allegheny County Councilwoman Sue Means wants to post the motto in county council chambers at the county courthouse.
“There’s over 380 some municipalities, cities, counties that have already put the national motto up in their chambers, so I’d like to see it also be posted,” says the Bethel Park Republican.
Those who support this bill say it’s all about patriotism and history. Those who oppose it say that’s a subterfuge. It’s really designed to hide a religious intent.
“It’s religion disguised as history,” says County Councilwoman Barbara Daly Danko.
The Point Breeze Democrat opposes this measure, saying she has no problem with the words, but for a lot of people, she says, “They don’t come with a Christian religious tradition in many cases, and I think on some level it is unnecessarily divisive.”
Means says to alleviate those concerns the resolution adds in two other phrases, “E Pluribus Unum,” and the state’s motto, “Virtue, Liberty, and Independence.”
“It’s history and it’s very patriotic,” she said.
Council is expected to vote on the measure on Sept. 9.
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