For Immediate Release: September 9, 2014
Contact: Diane Gramley 1.814.271.9078 or 1.814.437.5355
Allegheny County Council Urged to Approve National Motto
(Pittsburgh) — This evening Allegheny County Council is considering Resolution 8376-14 which would allow the posting of our Nation’s Motto “In God We Trust” and the Bill of Rights in the Gold Room, where the Allegheny County Council meets in the Allegheny County Courthouse. The American Family Association of Pennsylvania (AFA of PA), a statewide advocate for the First Amendment, has contacted Allegheny County Council members asking them to support this patriotic statement.
“These four words are part of our nation’s history. First appearing in the Star Spangled Banner and, thanks to the efforts of a Pennsylvanian, being on our nation’s money since 1864. What better way to show support for our nation than to place her motto in a prominent place?” questioned Diane Gramley, president of the AFA of PA.
Gramley continued, “We could not agree more that debating whether to post the motto or not is a waste of council’s time. There should be no debate necessary to post our nation’s motto. Vote ‘Yea’ and just move on. The threats from the Freedom from Religion Foundation are empty. Courts have consistently upheld the posting of the National Motto. It would do County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, who has threatened to veto the resolution if it reaches his desk, good to read the letter from Liberty Counsel when they outline the court cases which have been supportive of posting the National Motto. Liberty Counsel also offers to defend the County, free of charge, if the Freedom From Religion Foundation is so foolish as to sue.”
The message to County Council, outlining some of the motto’s history, said in part:
The fourth stanza of The Star Spangled Banner,” written during the War of 1812 includes the words, “And this be our motto: ‘In God is our Trust.” Those four words have appeared on our nation’s coins since the Civil War. The effort to include these words was spearheaded by Reverend M. R. Watkinson, Minister of the Gospel from Ridleyville, Pennsylvania in a letter dated November 13, 1861. These words became our official National Motto on July 30, 1956, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed H. J. Res. 396 (84th Congress).
Can County Council do any less than acknowledge the National Motto of the United States of America?
The signer of the letter from the Freedom from Religion Foundation, Annie Laurie Gaylor, is misleading you in her assertions that such posting is unconstitutional. Ms. Gaylor lost a similar national motto case before the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, in a case bearing her own name, Gaylor v. United States.”
Annie Laurie Gaylor is the co-founder of FFRF, and the U.S. Supreme Court refused her petition for certiorari, a writ seeking judicial review, in that case. Most recently in 2014, the Supreme Court upheld public prayer before legislative meetings as a “part of our heritage and tradition” in Town of Greece v. Galloway, again over the FFRF’s objection.
Should FFRF be so foolish as to sue Allegheny County, Orlando, Florida-based Liberty Counsel has offered to defend the county free of charge.
Showing a patriotic spirit is a necessary component to be a truly inclusive and welcoming community.
Again, the AFA of PA encourages you to vote in support of Resolution 8376-14.
end email to council
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