Texas is close to passing a law that would require some public schools and colleges to hang signs or plaques that read “In God We Trust” in every campus building, according to The Texas Tribune.
Drafted by state Senator Bryan Hughes, Senate Bill 797 would make it mandatory for institutions that possess such signs or plaques to prominently display them. Possession is defined as either purchase or receipt of a donation.
Furthermore, the Senate-approved bill stipulates that displays must adhere to a strict set of criteria. For example, they must include a visual representation of both the national flag and the state flag, and the former must be positioned beneath the phrase itself. In addition, displays cannot include any other text, images or information.
Following in the Senate‘s footsteps, the House of Representatives, which shot down an amendment that proposed to restrict the size of displays to roughly 1 square foot on Monday, is expected to approve the bill later Tuesday. After that, its next stop will be Governor Greg Abbott‘s desk for signing, according to the Tribune.
The bill is the latest in a long line of proposed revisions or additions to existing legislation, according to the Tribune. In many cases, they seem designed to challenge liberal beliefs and causes. Measures that would ban the teaching of critical race theory in schools, require the teaching of “informed American patriotism” in schools, and require some professional sports teams to play the national anthem before games have all been floated.
Earlier Tuesday, the Tribune article found its way to the subreddit r/politics, where users tore into it. Many felt that it represented a violation of the separation of church and state.
“Keep thy religion to thyself,” one user wrote. “More like “In God We (are forced to say we) Trust,'” another opined.
Others said the bill should also permit the erection of shrines to decidedly non-Christian deities such as the Buddha and the Flying Spaghetti Monster.
“Can I donate one that says ‘In Allah We Trust’? How about ‘In Gods We Trust’?” one user asked rhetorically.
“This looks like a good cause for the Satanic Temple to get involved in. If God gets his spot, other religious figures should have similar representation,” another reasoned.
Others thought that Texas lawmakers have bigger fish to fry than mandating the presence of a national motto in classrooms.
“I really wish we could settle these issues and not have to retry the same arguments over and over,” a user wrote. “I’ll give Conservatives points for their persistence but this doesn’t move the needle for our society as a whole. It doesn’t feed the hungry, clothe the poor, bring better healthcare, enhance our lives or keep us safer. Its window-dressing at a time when our Nation is in a political crisis (caused by the GOP).”
Like the vast majority of the Redditors, representatives for the League of Women Voters of Texas and Texas Impact are firmly against the bill, according to the Tribune.
Newsweek reached out to Hughes for comment but did not hear back before publication.