FFRF assures Illinois students they don’t have to ‘trust in god’ (March 16, 2012)

A Freedom From Religion Foundation complaint has successfully removed a religious display from a Hononegah Community High School (Ill.) hallway.

The phrase “In God We Trust” had been prominently featured on a school letter board for over 10 years. It wasn’t until Superintendent Randy Gross received a March 13 letter from FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor that things changed. Gaylor referenced the history of the motto as a “Johnny-come-lately first adopted during the Cold War as a reaction to the purported ‘Godlessness’ of Communism. American’s original motto was purely secular, i.e., ‘E Pluribus Unum’ (‘from many come one’). . .” She pointed out that the poster is offensive to students and parents who don’t believe in a god or have beliefs contrary to a monotheistic faith.

“There is no place in a public school for religious messages. The poster at Hononegah Community High School is particularly concerning as it creates an association between faith in god and patriotism,” wrote Gaylor.

A representative of the high school responded to Gaylor’s letter of complaint on March 16, informing FFRF that “maintenance removed the display.” 

Freedom From Religion Foundation