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In God, Do We All Trust?

Motto displayed on Wentzville City Council chambers causes controversy

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In God, Do We All Trust?

Since November of last year, Wentzville's City Council podium has displayed the motto “In God We Trust.”

Since November of last year, Wentzville's City Council podium has displayed the motto “In God We Trust.”

Sarah Martin

Since November of last year, Wentzville's City Council podium has displayed the motto “In God We Trust.”

Sarah Martin

Sarah Martin

Since November of last year, Wentzville's City Council podium has displayed the motto “In God We Trust.”

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There will always be controversy regarding religion; but what happens when one voices their opinion on the matter?

Since the City Council chamber’s building opened in November of last year, the council’s podium has displayed the motto “In God We Trust.” This sign has recently sparked controversy throughout the area, beginning with an opposition at a Wentzville council meeting.

Maryland Heights resident Sally Hunt has spoken out against the motto at two meetings on Feb. 14 and 28.

At the first meeting, Hunt brought up the argument that the sign is a violation of government purpose.

“This is not about my personal beliefs or lack there of… What it’s about is government, the role of government, the purpose of government,” Hunt said.

During her statement, Hunt mentioned that she is speaking for members of the community who are afraid to come forward.

“You have individuals right here in Wentzville that feel like they are being intimidated into silence,” Hunt said.

Once Hunt’s five minutes to speak were concluded, the board responded to her statement.

“We don’t have any evidence of that… We hear from our citizens, so if that were the truth we would hear from them. They’re not afraid to let us know when they’re angry about something,” Mayor Nick Guccione said.

Feeling accused of lying, Hunt continued to speak her point and was promptly escorted for speaking more than the time limit.

For the meeting on the 28th, Hunt was accompanied by two Wentzville residents to further state her point.

“There are Wentzville residents who do not believe in a God and and who are opposed to this sign,” Hunt said. “Or there are many who believe in a God and who value the separation of church and state.”

Both residents that accompanied Hunt spoke during the meeting concurring with several of her points.

Another speaker at the conference, Joseph Bieber, believes that Hunt was out of line.

“This open forum portion of this meeting is in and of itself evidence that speech is encouraged while simultaneously requesting that simple protocols be followed by those wishing to make remarks,” Bieber said. “The only violation that I have seen so far in this matter, is a breach of those simple protocols of decorum made by Ms. Sally herself.”

Several other sources have opposed the sign, including the Freedom From Religion Foundation and Appignani Humanist Legal Center.

A letter sent to the city from the organizations was reported by St. Louis Post-Dispatch, stating, “Your heavy-handed, dismissive treatment of Ms. Hunt — calling her a liar and then having her embarrassingly removed from the meeting by force — vividly demonstrates Ms. Hunt’s point that your constituents have good reason to be afraid to challenge the Board’s foisting of religion onto the rest of the community.”

Mayor Guccione has stated that the sign promotes patriotism, which Hunt bluntly countered.

“Mayor Guccione has also said that this motto is here because it promotes patriotism,” Hunt said. “So then what does that say about those who do not believe in a God or your God?”

She continued her point by claiming, “You are saying that everybody who isn’t Christian and who doesn’t agree with your religion is not patriotic.”

There have been no plans to remove the sign, and Mayor Guccione is firm on his belief of the patriotism of the motto.

About the Contributor
Sarah Martin, LHSToday Online Editor

Sarah is a junior at Liberty, and this is her third year in publications. She enjoys listening to music, writing and reading. Sarah enjoys math classes...

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In God, Do We All Trust?