Pastors want to see national motto on courthouse

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CLINTON, Tenn. (WVLT) - It's a phrase you see on every dollar bill, but should it be on a courthouse?

A group of pastors in Anderson County say yes, that the courthouse in Clinton is the perfect place to plaster: "In God We Trust."

"We feel like there is no hope, I think a reminder, a sign, will remind me yes there is. You can place your trust in God," said Tom Byrge, the director of missions of the Clinton Baptist Association.

He and 50 other county pastors asked the county government if they could install the famous four words.

"I thought it was a great idea, so I told them I'd be happy to support the effort, and go in front of county commission and we'll see if county commission agrees," said Terry Frank, the Anderson County Mayor.

In fact there are already plans to put the letters on either the sides of the building, or right on the front door.

But what about the separation of church and state? Byrge says even fellow preachers are wrestling with that topic.

"His question to me was will it blur that line of separation between church and state? I don't know if it will, but I hope that it wouldn't," said Byrge. "I still believe that that motto allows them to trust in a god of their choosing."

Another argument supporting it is our own government.
"In God We Trust" was reaffirmed as the national motto in 2011.

"Our county budget is $105 million-plus. That's a lot of dollar bills going through here that say 'In God We Trust' on our money. So if we've got it on our money, the surely it's okay to have it on our courthouse," said Mayor Frank.

The decision on whether on not to put the motto on the courthouse will be decided by the county commission. They meet on Tuesday at 6:30.

Installing the motto wouldn't cost taxpayers a dime, since area churches and businesses plan to foot the bill.

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