By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Tuesday, state Rep. David Standridge, R-Hayden, filed legislation that permits public buildings, classrooms, and law enforcement vehicles to display the national motto, “In God We Trust.”
“Political Correctness has gone too far when our national motto becomes unwelcome in public settings.” Standridge said. “This bill makes it clear that schools, courthouses, law enforcement vehicles, public officials and government bodies may proudly display ‘In God We Trust.’”
Standridge’s proposed legislation, House Bill 228, will be considered in the House State Government Committee in the coming weeks before being debated by the entire House of Representatives.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation is a national organization that has sued local governments and school systems if they find the government is promoting Christianity or religion in general. The groups said that the most common complaint they hear from their members is regarding “In God We Trust.”
“The phrase repeatedly has been used to justify other First Amendment state/church violations,” The organization said. “When we complain to a city about prayers before council meetings, they almost invariably respond, ‘But it says ‘In God We Trust’ on our money.’ That ubiquitous motto has been used to bolster arguments for school prayer, Nativity scenes in public places, tax dollars for parochial schools . . . you name it. ‘In God We Trust’ has never been legally tested in trial. Its constitutionality has never had its day in court, nor has the Supreme Court issued a decision on its merits. It is premature to use it as a legal excuse to mix religion and government. This is one of the reasons why we have gone to court over the issue.”
For years some courts and government bodies had displayed copies of the Ten Commandments. Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court Roy Moore was removed over refusing to remove a Ten Commandments monument from the Alabama Supreme Court building in 2003
Standridge represents District 34 in the Alabama House of Representatives, which includes parts of Blount and Marshall Counties.
Standridge was elected in a special election in 2012 and was re-elected in 2014, without opposition, to a full term in the House.
In 2014, Standridge was elected chairman of the bipartisan House Rural Caucus. Standridge is a retired law enforcement officer and formerly was the Blount County Probate Judge/County Commission Chairman.
Standridge is married to Danna, a retired teacher. They have three children, five grandchildren, and live in Hayden.