Tallahassee Atheists group responds to 'In God We Trust' law

Published: Aug. 6, 2018 at 1:56 PM EDT
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By: WCTV Eyewitness News, Associated Press

August 6, 2018

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- The Tallahassee Atheists group has responded to the new "In God We Trust" law, which states every school and school administrative building in Florida must display those words prominently.

Rep. Kimberly Daniels, a Jacksonville Democrat and sponsor of the bill, cited the recent shootings at a Florida high school during her closing speech on the bill during this past legislative session. Seventeen people were killed in February at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.

Daniels said that God is the "light" and "our schools need light in them like never before."

But not everyone is on board with the new law. Opponents are calling it a clear conflict with the separation of church and state.

In a statement, the Tallahassee Atheists said;

"Tallahassee Atheists fundamentally opposes any religious encroachment into our public schools. When the legislature passed House Bill 7055 into law last year, it was further endorsing a set of religions that 24% of Floridians do not subscribe to (Data: Pew Forum). Requiring that local cash-strapped school districts pay for the costs of making this unconstitutional endorsement of the god of Abraham markedly visible in every building, adds insult to injury.

"Secular Floridians are not alone in this opinion, many religious Floridians agree with us that the erosion of separation of church and state in Florida over the years is horrendous and can only lead to the degradation of our secular government. Tallahassee Atheists wonder why legislators find it so pertinent to constantly attempt to appease a supposedly omniscient and omnipresent being with expensive plaques and declarations of obedience.

"Some proponents of the law will assert that since "In God We Trust" is our state motto and our U.S. motto, that it only makes sense that we put it in schools. But as others have pointed out, it is already on our state flags and on our currency, both of which can be found in abundance at public schools. This redundancy is a waste of taxpayer money and funds that could have been used for school improvements or providing supplies and food for poor students."


by Gov. Rick Scott in March.