FLORIDA — In March 2018, Governor Rick Scott signed into law an education bill that mandates that all public schools display a sign with the words “In God We Trust” (IGWT) on it. Florida state representative Kimberly Daniels introduced the legislation, which she considered a response to the Florida school massacre in February. Daniels argued that [the Abrahamic] god is the light and “our schools need light in them like never before.”
Unlike most so-called Christian right activists, Kimberly Daniels is a Democrat. She has her own Christian ministry program and has written many Christian books. She titled one book Clean House, Strong House: A Practical Guide to Understanding Spiritual Warfare, Demonic Strongholds and Deliverance. Florida is not alone in passing such legislation.
TWH — The struggle for religious freedom, or freedom from religion, within the U.S. public school system is ongoing. As part of the government system, no preference of one religion over another is permitted on school property or within the buildings. However, in practice that is not always the case and, in areas where religious diversity is increasing, problems and challenges naturally arise. Today we look at two different cases that have appeared in recent months. Florida’s state legislature is considering a bill that would force all schools to display the words “In God We Trust” prominently, while in Louisiana, school officials in one parish include regular prayers as part of the daily curriculum.
On October 25, the United States Air Force Academy announced that the words “So Help Me God” would be optional when cadets recite the Honor Oath. Established in 1984, the cadet Honor Oath reads:
We will not lie, steal or cheat, nor tolerate among us anyone who does. Furthermore, I resolve to do my duty and to live honorably, so help me God. In an official press release Lt. Gen. Michelle D. Johnson said:
Here at the Academy, we work to build a culture of dignity and respect, and that respect includes the ability of our cadets, Airmen and civilian Airmen to freely practice and exercise their religious preference — or not…In the spirit of respect, cadets may or may not choose to finish the Honor Oath with ‘So help me God.’ Since that October announcement several media outlets and blogs mistakenly reported that it was the Air Force itself who had made “so help me God” optional.