Atheists and pagans apparently won’t get their own public displays after commissioners in one southern Alabama county that approved a religious-themed plaque.
The Mobile County Commission in June approved a privately funded “In God We Trust” display at the Government Plaza, over the objections of secularist residents.
“I strongly urge the commission to reject the display ‘In God We Trust,” said Amanda Scott, a Faulkner State Community College and self-described atheist. “It would only serve to divide Mobile on religion when we’re already so divided on other issues.”
After the commission’s 2-1 vote on the plaque, pagans, Universalists, and atheist groups asked the county for their own privately funded displays on public property.
The Mobile Atheist Community asked for a display that reads "in reason we trust," Universalists proposed one that says "coexist," and pagans suggested a plaque reading "in Goddess/es we trust,” reported the Mobile Press-Register.
Scott also submitted a petition asking for approval to be withdrawn for the plaque bearing the "In God We Trust" motto printed on U.S. currency.
More than 20 people represented both sides of the issue Thursday at the county commission’s meeting, including one supporter of the national motto display who claims "God spoke audibly through the hood of my car" to support the religious display.
"This is not a Muslim nation, this is a Christian nation," said Dean Young, a former congressional candidate. "Our national motto is the national motto and we shouldn't put random statements by random groups on the wall.”
Another resident compared atheists to spoiled children.
“When you let one child do something and the other whines and throws a fit, they lose interest when you let them do it," said David Preston, who suggested “calling their bluff” by allowing the displays. "They want the denial so they can make a bigger fuss.”
The commission president ruled at the end of the hearing that the body would not vote on additional plaques and suggested atheists and other groups take their concerns to Congress, which approved “In God We Trust” as the national motto.
"If any other motto is added, that would give credence," Commission President Connie Hudson. "Until then, the commission will not deal with any other plaques."
[Image via Shutterstock]