A bitter battle over whether the name of God should be displayed at the entrance of a Tennessee courthouse has been settled, The Knoxville News Sentinel reports
The Anderson County Commission voted 12-4 to place the nation’s motto, “In God We Trust,’’ outside the county courthouse despite arguments that it would represent a government endorsement of Christianity.
“It’s our national motto,” Lee Frank, husband of Anderson County Mayor Terry Frank, told the News Sentinel. “It’s on our money. It’s been ruled totally constitutional. We don’t need to deal with that ACLU crap here.”
But others said the motto on the building would violate the notion of separation of church and state.
“The government needs to be apart from any mention of God,” said Oak Ridge Councilwoman Anne Garcia Garland, noting the motto could create an issue of legal liability.
According to the News Sentinel, government funds won't be used to pay for the motto's placement. Supporters of the plan said the costs would be covered with private funds.
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