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AU Orange County Chapter invites you to join us for our monthly chapter meeting. We meet on the second Sunday of every month at Irvine Water District Headquarters at 15500 Sand Canyon Avenue, Irvine, CA 92618-3102. Our meeting starts at 1:30 PM and social starts at 1 PM. We look forward to seeing you there.
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Americans United for Separation of Church & State
Protecting Your Right to Believe... Or Not
“In God We Trust” Comes to Lake Forest
AU-OC Disappointed by Anti-Constitutional vote by City Council
On January 18th, the Lake Forest City Council voted to display "In God We Trust" in their council chambers. Lake Forest is just the latest of cities to approve such a display. This is a clear violation of the separation of church and state and is an endorsement of religion by the Lake Forrest city government. Council Member Marcia Rudolph, who introduced the measure, stated she had proposed displaying the national motto in part because "we're a Judeo-Christian country." Not only does she have her facts wrong, but this shows a clear intent for the city to promote a Judeo-Christian world view, and that is clearly un-Constitutional.
This is not a “local” issue. It is part of a coordinated campaign by evangelical right wing Christian activists led by Bakersfield City Council Member Jacquie Sullivan and her In God We Trust America Corporation. They have sent promotion packets to right wing members of city councils across the state encouraging them to erect large displays in their city council or school board chambers.
One of the active campaigns we are waging in Orange County is against the proliferation of resolutions to post "In God We Trust" in city council chambers and school boards. This is yet another attempt by the religious right to impose fundamentalist beliefs onto mainstream America.
This is tagging, plain and simple. When a gang comes to the neighborhood they tag it with their symbol to announce that others are not welcome. The religious right is tagging our seats of government with their vision of religious purity. If we want to preserve religious freedom and diversity in our community we must push back.
If you know of this plague coming to your community, please contact AU-OC. When we have been able to organize in advance, these motions have not passed.
This fad of spending tax payer money for religious displays in city council chambers has been spear headed by a right wing evangelical Christian group in Bakersfield called "In God We Trust America" headed by Jacquie Sullivan, a council member there. On her site she states that it is or patriotic duty to display this motto.
On the same site, the Pacific Justice Institute offers legal support for any city council that is sued for erecting "In God We Trust" in their chambers. This is a coordinated effort by right wing evangelical Christians to undermine the separation of church and state for political purposes. This is not to honor God, it is to make a political statement demanding religious conformity from America's citizens. It is un-American, and it must be stopped.
The history of "In God We Trust," and its display on our currency, is similar to the insertion of "One Nation Under God" into our pledge of allegiance. These were political acts by the McCarthy Congress to Christianize America even while these same vile people black listed Jews.
Our other official motto is "E Pluribus Unum," from many, one. This motto of unity is just the opposite of the divisive statement of "In God We Trust."