The Maine Senate on Thursday passed a resolution supporting “In God We Trust” as the motto of the United States and encouraging its display in all homes, houses of worship and public buildings.
The resolution, sponsored by Sen. David Burns, R-Whiting, was adopted unanimously and without debate.
“It’s with great pride and honor that I bring this resolution forward,” Burns said Thursday morning on the Senate floor. “For some, apparently, it’s a controversial resolution. To me, it’s anything but a controversial resolution.”
“In God We Trust” has been the national motto for 60 years and it will reach its anniversary on July 30 of this year. There are also religious references in numerous other areas of government, including the presidential oath of office (“so help me God”), posted in the U.S. House and Senate (“in God we trust”), and in the preamble of the Maine Constitution (“acknowledging with grateful hearts the goodness of the Sovereign Ruler of the Universe…”).
Burns, a retired police officer who has announced he will not seek re-election, has been a leader in the Legislature in terms of protecting what he describes as religious rights. He has twice proposed “religious freedom” bills — which sought to free religious institutions from involvement in activities they disagree with, such as same-sex marriages — in recent years. Both bills failed amid complaints that they would open legal loopholes to allow discrimination based on religion or sexual orientation.