'In God We Trust' OK in Pa. County

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    The commissioners of a western Pennsylvania county have voted 2-1 to display the national motto, "In God We Trust" on a wall of their meeting room.

    Republican Butler County Commissioners William McCarrier and Dale Pinkerton supported the display while Democrat Jim Eckstein didn't.

    Pinkerton pushed the idea at the urging of a national group called In God We Trust - America Inc., which hopes cities and counties across the country will display the national motto adopted in 1956, which also appears on U.S. currency.

    Eckstein says he's concerned about a court challenge by the American Civil Liberties Union or some other group.

    "I believe strongly in the separation of church and state," Eckstein told the Valley News Dispatch.

    But ACLU attorney Sara Rose, of Pittsburgh, says a challenge is unlikely because courts have ruled the motto doesn't promote one religious group over another.

    The commissioners' chairman, William McCarrier said the issue was a difficult one for him because Eckstein and Pinkerton both made good points. Ultimately, he said the country was founded by "Godly men," and that "putting a sign up is not establishing a national religion, I believe."

    Butler is 30 miles north of Pittsburgh.