After lengthy debate, a bill passed through the state House on Tuesday that would allow “In God We Trust” to be displayed in public spaces across the state of Alabama.
Hayden-Republican state Rep. David Standridge filed HB228: The National Motto “In God We Trust” Act ultimately passed 91-4. It would allow the national motto to be placed on government agencies and offices, in and on public buildings, including government office buildings, public school classrooms, and vehicles across the state.
“In God We Trust” has been the official motto of the United States since 1956, but that didn’t stop legislators from discussing the bill and the origins of the phrase for over two hours. Where one state lawmaker, Indian Springs-Republican state Rep. Arnold Mooney, was accused of twisting history when he explained the phrase is from the national anthem, and added that Francis Scott Key once argued slaves on a captured ship should return to Africa.
Black legislators said Mooney was wrong and didn’t know what he was talking about, as Key himself owned slaves and his third stanza is thought to celebrate the deaths of escaped slaves who actually fought with the British.
It now moves to the Alabama Senate.