McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

May 25, 2011

In God We Trust

By Jeanne LeFlore
Staff Writer

McALESTER — A resolution that was to be considered Tuesday night by the McAlester City Council has already been approved by Pittsburg County Commissioners: a plaque bearing the motto “In God We Trust” to be installed at the county courthouse.

County commissioners in April approved a resolution similar to that considered by the city council Tuesday.

The resolution came in the form of a  letter addressed to the Pittsburg County commissioners as well as McAlester City Hall from the law offices of Ed Wimple and Joseph Passerines, trial attorneys in Springfield, Mo. In the letter to commissioners, government officials were are asked to  consider posting “In God We trust” prominently at the Pittsburg County Courthouse. The letter says “hundreds of cities across the United States are doing so.”

“I ain’t got a problem with it,” said Pittsburg County District One Commissioner Gene Rogers, “and I support it. I think it should be posted in the courthouse because the government supports this slogan and we support our government. I think it should be everywhere.”

District Three Commissioner Ronnie Young agreed.

“I think it should already be up there,” he said of the county courthouse. “I don’t know anyone that wouldn’t want it posted around here.”

Commission Chairman Kevin Smith said he also supports the resolution, and that a sign with the motto will be posted using county tax dollars. “I think it’s a good deal and it goes with our history and how our county was founded,” he said.

Dee Wampler the author of the letter, spoke from Missouri to the News-Capital in April.

“I just sent this letter as a private citizen,” he said. “Although I am an attorney and I am involved with several Christian legal groups, I believe that we are losing our American history. We are a Christian nation and we are losing the faith of our fathers. It is my belief that all for Americans and for new people coming in to America they need to recognize what our history is, what our culture is.”

McAlester Mayor Kevin Priddle has said he agrees with the resolution on a personal level.  

“ I believe the founding fathers true meaning was to ensure that the government wasn’t intruding on religion, not to keep God out of the government,” he said.

The motto “In God We Trust” was adopted in 1956 during the McCarthy Era and has appeared on all U.S. currency since 1957.

For more on this story, see Wednesday’s print edition of the McAlester News-Capital. For subscription information call 918-423-1700.

Contact Jeanne LeFlore@mcalesternews.com.