PA House Approves Dush Legislation to Restore ‘In God We Trust’ Displays in Public Schools

HARRISBURG, Pa. – Sponsored by Rep. Cris Dush (R-Jefferson/Indiana), legislation to allow Pennsylvania public schools to display America’s national motto, “In God We Trust,” (House Bill 1640) was approved by the state House by a resounding bipartisan margin of 179-20 on Monday.

“Our motto ‘In God We Trust’ is part of the history and heritage of the United States and the Constitutionality of its display has been upheld by three separate federal courts when the purpose is for the advancement or endorsement of the national motto itself,” said Dush. “The purpose of my legislation is to fully restore the right to display the national motto in our public schools when and if they choose to do so.”

While this phrase was first introduced to the nation by Francis Scott Key in 1814 in the lyrics of the national anthem, it was Pennsylvanian James Pollock, the 13th governor of the Commonwealth, who was responsible for suggesting the installation of these words on U.S coins during his term as director of the United States Mint. In April 1864, Congress first approved the use of the motto on U.S, two-cent pieces, and since then, the motto has been inscribed on most denominations of coins in an uninterrupted period of time extending from the present back to 1916.

In 1956, the United States Congress adopted the motto “In God We Trust” as the national motto. Since 1957, the United States Bureau of Engraving and Printing has gradually incorporated the motto in the design on the reverse of all paper currency.

“With this rich history in mind, my legislation would allow school districts to once again display our national motto,” said Dush. “The display of In God We Trust may take the form of mounted plaques or artwork from a student contest that can be prominently and proudly displayed in each school building.”

House Bill 1460 is now awaiting consideration in the state Senate.

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