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Bill to put 'In God We Trust' phrase in every public school proposed in Nebraska legislature

Posted: 8:10 PM, Jan 21, 2019
Updated: 2019-01-22 02:13:47Z
Bill to put "In God We Trust" phrase in every public school proposed in Nebraska legislature

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — If one western Nebraska senator gets his way, every public school in the state will be forced to display the phrase ‘In God We Trust’ somewhere easy to see in the school.

The inspiration for the bill came after many county courthouses throughout the state, did something similar.

Just last month the words 'In God We Trust' were displayed inside the Cass County Courthouse, one of many Nebraska counties to do so.

Barb Otto of O'Neill led that charge.

Now she's working with state senator Steve Erdman to put that phrase on the wall of every public school in Nebraska.

"It's our national motto, simply as that. You know it's been on our currency since 1863, so everybody has the motto in their pocket, in their bill-fold, they carry it with them every single day."

It should be no surprise there's opposition.

There are some who are concerned about the idea of prominently displaying the word God in a public school.

Minister of spiritual formation at Wildewood Christian Church Robin Ziegenfuss agrees with the motto, but is reluctant to put it in schools.

"I teach with Christian principles in that sense, I don't proselytize and so to put a motto in a classroom, In God We Trust, I don't necessarily think is a bad thing, I'm not convinced a motto like that would help our cause,” says Ziegenfuss.

Senator Erdman said on the phone he didn't propose the bill to spread christianity in schools, instead it's about showing patriotism.

Something Otto echoes.

"If you're going to live in this country and you have allegiance to this country, it was founded on those Christian values.” says Otto.

Ziegenfuss is a former teacher. In fact, he still substitute teaches in the Papillion La-Vista school district. He says it could put teachers in awkward positions when asked about Christianity by students.

"I would hate to say, well the state made us put that up so that's why it's there. I'm not sure that helps anybody,” says Ziegenfuss.

We'll likely know soon if this bill has any legs to possibly pass, as the education committee plans to hold a hearing on it tomorrow.