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By Steve Erdman
47th District 

Straight Talk From Steve: National Motto


December 22, 2022 | View PDF

One of the bills that I will introduce next year is a bill to put posters displaying our national motto, "In God We Trust" in all of Nebraska's public schools just like we have in all of our courthouses. Actually, I will be re-introducing this bill. I have introduced this bill in each biennial legislative session ever since I became a State Senator six years ago, but the bill has never advanced out of the Education Committee.

The bill is a simple bill. All that it says is that each public school must display a poster displaying the national motto in a common area where students are likely to see it on a daily basis; otherwise, schools may choose to display it in every classroom. That is all that the bill requires of the public schools.

The reason this bill is necessary, relates to the current trends in education we've been witnessing to eradicate God from the classroom and to erase or re-write America's religious heritage. The fact of the matter is that our predecessors in the last century changed our nation's motto in 1956 from E Pluribus Unum (Latin for: Out of many, one) to "In God We Trust" in order to preserve our nation's religious heritage and values. At a time when atheistic communism was rapidly spreading around the world, these Congressmen felt the need to differentiate the United States of America from the rest of the world as a nation where faith in God was not only welcomed, but was still the norm.

Faith in God continues to be the norm in American society today. A Gallup Poll released in May of this year shows that 81 percent of Americans continue to believe in God. So, trust in God remains strong in America today.

Percentages don't matter. Even if that percentage were to somehow fall below 50 percent someday, it would not change the fact that faith in God has been essential to the foundation of our American values and to our State. Whether we are talking about the U.S. Constitution or the Nebraska State Constitution, the right to worship God freely has always been a foundational component of our values as Americans and as Nebraskans. For example, Article 1, Section 4 of the Nebraska State Constitution says, "All persons have a natural and indefeasible right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own consciences."

This most basic right of religious freedom has been under attack by atheists for many years now, and this is the time of year when they most prefer to launch their attacks. For example, every year atheists reserve space in the Capitol rotunda in Lincoln for the week of Christmas in order to show their anti-God displays.

This movement to eradicate God and Christ from American society now permeates our educational institutions. For example, today our students are taught to write history in terms of "before the common era" and "after the common era" instead of by Anno Domini (B.C & A.D.), which places the birth of Christ at the center of world history. The history behind Anno Domini (B.C & A.D.) is important for our school children to know, because it came about as a protest against Christian persecution by the Romans. Nevertheless, it is being systematically eradicated from our schools today.

Placing our national motto back in our public schools is a small step towards educating our school children about our religious heritage and the faith in God which formed the foundation of our American values.

As you celebrate Christmas this year, be reminded of how important the birth of Christ has been in the history of the world. At the first Christmas a baby was born who would become the Savior of the world. King Herod tried to kill the baby Jesus and Roman emperors tried to stamp out his followers. As a man, Pontius Pilate had him crucified, buried, and guarded his tomb, yet no one has ever been able to account for the body or bones of Jesus. That he rose from the dead and appeared to more than 500 of his followers is an event forever recorded in history and this is why so many people celebrate his birth today.


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