Last week, At a Haven, Kansas City Council meeting, city councilors voted to remove the “We Trust in God” (
In God We Trust
) of police vehicles. Councilwoman Sandra Williams introduced the measure by emphasizing that she did not think the police department was the proper forum to speak about God.
After a brief discussion, Williams made a motion to remove of police vehicles the stickers with the motto “We trust in God”, as well as deleting all the Bible verses from the Facebook page of the police department. Another counselor seconded the motion, which passed unanimously. Mayor Adam Wright has since announced that the stickers and quotes will have been removed in 16 of May.
On the night of Monday on Washington Watch, Tony Perkins, chairman of the Family Research Council, addressed the controversy. “Haven City Council said this was a matter of separation of church and state. But that is the motto of the nation.” Across the country, about 16 police entities display the motto “We trust in God”.
Our efforts to contact the Haven City Council councilors to comment were rejected.
However, during the broadcast, Perkins interviewed a critic of the Council’s action, Chris Powell, senior pastor of New Haven Baptist Church.
“I think this decision sure surprised a lot of people – and frankly, it was made very quickly,” Powell said. “I don’t think this decision reflects our community as a whole.”
Powell explained that, in a city of 1.15 inhabitants, only % of residents of age to vote went to the polls in the last election. “It’s hard to get a fair representation of how the community really feels when the vote count is so low.”
“I think in our country you can see that when the degradation of the Church and the Family starts to happen; things like that get more prominent,” Powell said.
During the Civil War, Secretary of State Salmon P. Chase wrote a letter to Rev. MR Watkinson declaring that “No nation can be strong but in the strength of God, nor be safe except in his defense. The trust of our people in God should be declared in our national currencies.”In 1864, the motto “We trust in God” first appeared on a two-cent coin. The US Treasury Department reports that this decision reflected the emphasis on faith as a result of the conflict.
In 1956, Congress passed a law mandating that the phrase be printed in every denomination of US paper money. President Dwight D. Eisenhower also signed a law establishing “We Trust in God” as the national motto.
Powell said that after the City Council’s decision, interest in municipal elections increased. He believes more citizens residing in Haven will vote to ensure the City Council represents their values.