Arkansas School District Rejects Atheists’ Nuanced “In God We Trust” Posters

By Hemant Mehta

On Monday night, American Atheists’ National Program Director Nick Fish was in Arkansas at a meeting of the Bentonville School District board to make an offer: Because Arkansas is a state that now requires schools to display the phrase “In God We Trust,” Fish wanted to donate 1,000 posters that put the religious motto in proper context.

“In God We Trust” is still on there, as is the U.S. flag and Arkansas state flag. So it fulfills everything the law requires.

But appearing in larger font is our nation’s original, unofficial, secular motto “E Pluribus Unum” (“Out of many, one”). It also includes a link to a website that offers more detail.

“We’re pleased to donate these displays that present the full truth and historical context of our national motto,” Fish said in a statement. “Proponents of Act 911, including Bentonville’s State Representative Jim Dotson, claim that mandating these displays is about acknowledging our nation’s ‘history and heritage’ in classrooms. But we think students deserve all the facts, not just a poster of an exclusionary and divisive motto devoid of any additional context or information.”

He makes a great point. And no surprise here: The school board rejected his offer.

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