'In God We Trust' to be displayed in Greenville Co. chambers - FOX Carolina 21

'In God We Trust' to be displayed in Greenville Co. Council chambers

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A regular meeting is held at the Greenville County Council. (July 8, 2014/FOX Carolina) A regular meeting is held at the Greenville County Council. (July 8, 2014/FOX Carolina)

The national motto "In God We Trust" is set to be prominently displayed in the Greenville County Council chambers, but one council member fears the decision will draw ire from groups like the ACLU and the Freedom from Religion Foundation, triggering expensive lawsuits.

Councilman Joe Baldwin, who represents District 18, voted for the display along with the rest of council, but conceded to FOX Carolina that the display may be unnecessary, given council members affirm a belief in God by opening proceedings with prayer. 

"It would be somebody like the ACLU that would bring a lawsuit, it could be a taxpayer that is an atheist," said Baldwin. "There may be some people who may object."

"I have no objection to putting it up," he continued. "My only concern is whether it will cost the taxpayers a lot of money to defend a lawsuit."

"We're not discriminating against any minority by doing this," said Councilman Fred Payne. "We're just making an affirmation of where we're coming from."

Payne and other council members received an email in June from Jacquie Sullivan, founder of In God We Trust-America, a non-profit based out of Bakersfield, CA, that asked local governments across the nation to join the movement to make God a more prominent part of government proceedings. One of the ways to do that is to display the motto "In God We Trust," Sullivan said.

"It is a fact that the majority of the people in this country do strongly support our national motto 'In God We Trust,'" said Sullivan.

In regards to a lawsuit against Greenville County, Payne said he is not worried.

"I think we have the precedent of many public buildings having that motto on the outside and many other public documents basically reflecting that," Payne said.

Nearly 400 local governments have opted to display the motto in public meeting places since the movement began in recent years.

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