Arkansas pastor admits new law helps him promote his religion in public school
Chris Reed (KARK)

An Arkansas youth pastor admits his church eagerly paid off a religious display at a local public school to promote Christianity.

Schools in the Benton School District will soon be the first in Arkansas to display the U.S. motto -- "In God we trust" -- under a new state law after a Sardis church offered to pay for the signs, reported KARK-TV.

The Pleasant Hill Baptist Church agreed to pay $300 to place the signs at local public schools, and youth pastor Chris Reed said the decision was an easy one.

"Our church discussed it very briefly.  Absolutely, that's something we want to be a part of."  Reed told the TV station. "Though we may differ on what 'In God We Trust' means specifically, I think we can all agree that there's a greater calling in our life that's greater than us."

The state legislature passed a law requiring elementary and secondary schools to display a framed picture or post of the motto in libraries and classrooms if funded by private organizations or voluntary contributions.

State Rep. Jim Dotson (R-Bentonville) based the law -- which drew only three dissenting votes -- on a similar measure in Georgia requiring history and heritage displays.

Reed said his church will also pay for the displays in the Bauxite School District to promote religion there, as well.

"This is who we are, this is who we have been and hopefully, I pray, that's who we continue to be moving forward," Reed said. "In the name of Jesus that our lives will be directed as we obediently follow Christ."