(Washington D.C., July 14, 2011) Leadership at the American Humanist Association expressed disappointment with the Georgia Department of Revenue today for its selection of a new license plate design that may include the option of purchasing a sticker with the words “In God We Trust” for an extra $1. The Georgia Department of Revenue recently held a contest in which Georgia citizens submitted and voted on new state license plate designs, with all three finalists including the phrase “In God We Trust” in the images.
“The phrase ‘In God We Trust’ does not speak for all Americans,” said Roy Speckhardt, executive director of the American Humanist Association. “Religion shouldn’t be dependent on the popular vote, nor imposed on the population. It’s a slap in the face to the thousands of Georgia residents who respect the separation of church and state.”
The Atlanta Business Chronicle reported that the “In God We Trust” sticker would be optional and cost $1 for Georgia residents who choose to include the sticker on their license plate. However, this fact was not clear during the online voting process and resulted in several complaints from Georgia residents who saw this as a blatant violation of church-state separation.
If Georgia insists upon offering the “In God We Trust” sticker, then the American Humanist Association urges the Georgia Department of Revenue to offer an alternative sticker with the words “E Pluribus Unum”—Latin for “Out of Many, One”—which was the original motto of the United States.
“’E Pluribus Unum’ is an inclusive motto that respects the secular foundation of our country,” said Speckhardt.
The American Humanist Association (www.americanhumanist.org) advocates for the rights and viewpoints of humanists. Founded in 1941 and headquartered in Washington, D.C., its work is extended through more than 100 local chapters and affiliates across America.
Humanism is the idea that you can be good without a belief in God.