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Atheists Object as Kansas Lawmakers Want 'In God We Trust' in Classrooms, Public Buildings 

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A Kansas lawmaker has introduced a proposed measure requiring every public building in the Sunflower State to display the US national motto, "In God We Trust."

The Wichita Eagle reports House Bill No. 2476 would require all state and municipal buildings, public colleges and universities as well as all public school libraries and classrooms to have the motto displayed. 

The bill's lead sponsor is state Rep. Michael Capps from Wichita.  

The measure reflects similar bills in other states like Oklahoma and Florida that would require public display of the motto. In 2006, the phrase was also designated as the motto of the state of Florida.

"It should be displayed as an acknowledgment of our country's history and founding principles," Capps said.

The group American Atheists has condemned the move by lawmakers. Nick Fish, president of the group, said Capps' proposed displays would send the message that atheist students and teachers are second-class citizens.

"This bill has nothing to do with educating Kansas students. It's clear some lawmakers care more about forcing a religious message into school classrooms than teaching the facts," Fish said in a statement.

Capps responded to Fish's statement in an email to The Eagle, writing he was proud to follow President Dwight Eisenhower, who signed the legislation establishing the national motto. "Misguided people" have been attempting to tear apart the foundation of the country for decades, he said.

"If fringe groups are offended, they are welcome to move elsewhere," he continued, adding that Kansas and the United States was founded on an acknowledgment of God.

"I will continue to pray for the atheists in Kansas - praying they will come to find the love our country our Founders showed," Capps said.

The Wichita lawmaker also emphasized the new measure would not require spending any tax dollars. The displays of the motto would be donated or purchased by schools or local governments using donations dedicated for that purpose. 

Almost a dozen lawmakers are co-sponsoring the bill with Capps. 

"In God We Trust" has been the national motto in the US since 1956, replacing E Pluribus Unum in use since the initial 1776 design of the Great Seal of the United States.

The phrase first appeared in a capitalized form on a US two-cent coin in 1864 during the American Civil War and has appeared on paper currency since 1957.

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About The Author

Steve Warren is a senior multimedia producer for CBN News. Warren has worked in the news departments of television stations and cable networks across the country. In addition, he also worked as a producer-director in television production and on-air promotion. A Civil War historian, he authored the book The Second Battle of Cabin Creek: Brilliant Victory. It was the companion book to the television documentary titled Last Raid at Cabin Creek currently streaming on Amazon Prime. He holds an M.A. in Journalism from the University of Oklahoma and a B.A. in Communication from the University of