School’s out for summer, but some kids will have new artwork adorning their classroom walls come the first day of school.

Kentucky and South Dakota are the latest states to pass legislation mandating public schools to prominently place “In God We Trust” in hallways, cafeterias, and common rooms. Our descent into a theocracy continues.

I have written at length why this country was not founded on Christian values (the Establishment Clause be damned!), and why allowing a religious group to be the sole determinat of what is right or wrong (morality be damned!), is a slippery slope. But as long as Christianity remains the most prolific religion in this country, the religious right politicians will continue to pander to their base.

It’s very telling that in the state of South Dakota, “Acknowledging that the law could trigger a lawsuit, legislators included a contingency plan that calls on the state to assume all financial responsibility for any fallout from the “In God We Trust” message. And if any suits are filed against a school district, employee, school board or member of the school board, the law states that South Dakota’s attorney general will represent them at no cost.” (NPR, 7/25/19) In other words, “we know we shouldn’t be doing this, but we don’t care.”

Maybe here’s what the signs should actually say:

“In our efforts to indoctrinate your children with our version of God in these publicly funded institutions of education, while labeling it as ‘patriotism,’ we are actually just pandering to our political base. We hope our religious privilege protects us from any lawsuits that our blatant violation of the Establishment Clause might bring.”

Rob Warzyniak


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