OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – As state lawmakers discuss measures dealing with tax credits and immigration, they will also consider a bill that would add a motto to state buildings.
House Bill 3817, authored by House Speaker Charles McCall, would add ‘In God We Trust’ to all state buildings.
The measure states that the Office of Management and Enterprise Services should display “the national motto of the United States in a prominently visible location in all state buildings.”
It also says that OMES would be responsible for any related expenses associated with the addition of the motto.
The bill states that the display “shall not be construed to mean that the State of Oklahoma favors any particular religion or denomination thereof over others.”
Officials with McCall’s office say their view that is the bill is about history and not religion.
“It is important for government to acknowledge history and project the values that make America great. ‘In God We Trust’ is on buildings, currency and more across America because it is our motto and an important part of our history and founding principles,” McCall said.
However, organizations are already speaking out against the measure.
American Atheists claim that there has been an increase of ‘In God We Trust’ bills across the country over the past few years.
“Lawmakers should focus on the needs of every Oklahoman, especially those with diverse religious views, rather than using precious legislative time and taxpayer resources to serve out-of-state special interests,” a statement from Tim Ward, the Oklahoma State Director of American Atheists, read.
The measure has been referred to the House Rules Committee.