Pierce County Council debating "In God We Trust" motto

by: Natasha Chen Updated:

Councilman Jim McCune has proposed a resolution to display the national motto "In God We Trust" in council chambers.

TACOMA, Wash. - The Pierce County Council is considering displaying the national motto of "In God We Trust" in its chambers.

The Tacoma News Tribune reports the resolution by Councilman Jim McCune will be considered on Monday by a subcommittee with final action scheduled for Tuesday.

McCune says "In God We Trust" is a national motto to be proud of, and it's also inspiring and patriotic.

Council members Connie Ladenburg and Rick Talbert, both Tacoma Democrats, say they oppose the proposal because it could open the door for controversy. Ladenburg says it also limiting to a Christian god, excluding other deities.

McCune told KIRO 7 Sunday night that the issue has nothing to do with the separation of church and state, but rather that the phrase is part of the nation’s heritage.

“Why do we say ‘one nation under God’? And why does Congress have it posted…above the speaker of the house?” McCune said.

When asked whether citizens who believe in another religion would still feel included in a place where this motto is displayed, McCune said, “I don’t see why not. If I go to another country, they have their statement, or their particular deity.”

McCune's resolution is part of a national movement to display the motto in local government buildings. According to the group "In God We Trust-America," nearly 400 cities and counties in 23 states have voted to display the motto.

No city or county in Washington state is listed among them.

But McCune said the idea was not based on the Facebook group, started by people in Bakersfield, Calif. He said he saw the phrase on the walls of other government buildings in other states and wanted to bring it up in Pierce County. He said the language for the resolution however, was based on that provided by the Facebook group.