Read More Atheist Republic Senate bill 797 requires Texas public schools to display donated “In God We Trust” posters. The law was authored by Texas Republican senator Bryan Hughes, the same man who wrote the infamous Senate bill 8, also known as the Heartbeat Bill, which bans most abortions after the first six weeks before many women realize they are pregnant.
Texas school districts have begun receiving donated posters and framed copies of the national motto, “In God We Trust,” that they will now be required to display in accordance with a new state law. https://t.co/am6qm5l5IS
— CNN (@CNN) August 19, 2022
The law was signed by Republican Governor Greg Abbott in June 2021 and went into effect the following September but did not get much attention because most school districts were not practicing in-person classes due to the pandemic. At a recent public appearance on the 16th of August, Hughes spoke of the law and praised organizations such as the Northwest (Austin) Republican Women and “many individuals” for their donations.
Texas-based cell phone company, Patriot Mobile, which donates a portion of customers’ phone bills to conservative Christian causes, donated several “In God We Trust” signs. “We are honored to be part of bringing God back into our public schools!” the company exclaimed in a Facebook Post.
The law is very specific, requiring that public schools and colleges only display “donated” signs or “purchased from private donations” in a “conspicuous place.”
Erik Leist, the father of a young child who will soon enroll in Texas public education, defended the law, asserting that “the motto represents America’s founding, and is not pushing any one religion.” However, not everyone shares his sentiment.
Speaking to the Guardian, Sophie Ellman-Golan, the Director for Strategic Communications of Jews for Racial and Economic Justice (JFREJ), said, “These posters demonstrate the more casual ways a state can impose religion on the public.” The Southlake Anti-Racism Coalition stated that the signs were “disturbing” and were “concerned on behalf of those who do not practice the dominant Christian faith.”
Oh Texas, you are so embarrassing. https://t.co/FpGLzcrOn8
— Christopher Moore (@TheAuthorGuy) August 21, 2022
The United States adopted the motto in 1956. Many believe lawmakers did so to differentiate themselves from the “godless communists” during the Cold War. In July of 1955, President Eisenhower required the motto on all American currency. It can be seen in many government buildings, and so far, legal challenges have failed to remove it.
Since 2015, more than 60 police departments have put the motto on their vehicles, and twenty states offer the motto on public license plates.
Last week, journalist, artist, and constitutional activist Chaz Stevens spoke with National Public Radio (NPR) about the law. “That should be irritating for you, regardless of what God- or Not-God- you believe in,” he said.
As far as Stevens can tell, there is no “English only” requirement in the law. He plans on donating posters to schools around the state – in Arabic.“They didn’t say anything about language,” he said. “And as an artist, it’s always art forward for me. So I thought, well, know what looks good…and then it occurred to me that Arabic is beautiful.”
We really could use your help in our quest to battle Texas’ latest law – “In God We Trust” signs in public schools.Our project will send hundreds of these posters across the Lone Star state.We really need your help. Stand with us today!https://t.co/MwoIT6RVNJ pic.twitter.com/SNkc0SkkQf
— Chaz Stevens (@TheTweetOfJab) August 21, 2022
His fundraising campaign has done so well that he decided to expand the project beyond Arabic. His Gofundme page says they will design, print, deliver, and donate 500+ posters in various languages, including Hindi, English Gay Pride, Spanish, Vulcan, Klingon, and others. As of this writing, he’s raised close to $40,000.
Stevens says that if the campuses refuse to display his donations, he will file a lawsuit and use the court case to challenge the statute itself. “It’s simple,” he said, “empowering hypocrisy itself, turning bureaucracies against themselves.”
If anyone wants to support Chaz Stevens’s motto campaign, please donate at