On April 7, the Maine Senate adopted Senate Resolution 1, a declaration that the “Members of the Senate . . . reaffirm ‘In God We Trust’ as the official motto of the United States and support and encourage awareness of and the public display of the national motto in homes and houses of worship and in all public buildings, public schools and other government institutions.”

This is a symbolic move by the Senate, since it is in the form of a unilateral resolution. Still, it sends a message to minority religious and nonreligious citizens that their state Senate does not value them as highly as their monotheistic neighbors.

Revealingly, the Senate has made a very rare move in adopting this resolution unilaterally. A staff member for the state’s nonpartisan Legislative Information Office remarked in response to FFRF’s inquiry that “99 percent of the time, resolutions are joint,” meaning that both the Senate and House of Representatives almost always approve them together.

Instead, the Senate chose to adopt this resolution without sending it to the House. Based on the Senate’s actions, one could easily conclude that our national motto has become so contentious that not even the two houses in a bicameral state legislature can agree on its appropriateness.

Maine’s upper chamber needs to devote more time to improving the welfare of its citizens and less time sending acrimonious, religion-laden communiqués to them.

Sam Grover

staff attorney

Freedom From Religion Foundation

Madison, Wis.

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