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Supervisor proposes ‘In God We Trust’ be displayed in Humboldt County chambers

EUREKA- A controversial initiative to display the phrase "In God We Trust" in the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors chamber was taken off Tuesday's consent calendar. 

At the meeting, Supervisor Rex Bohn intended to present the resolution for vote. The resolution stems from a nationwide initiative by In God We Trust- America Inc. to inscribe the nation’s motto in every city and county chamber.

“Four counties in California have done it and over 100 cities,” said 1st District Supervisor Rex Bohn. “It’s just reiterating that fact that ‘In God We Trust’ is our national motto. And it's just the fact to reiterate that we support it and you can if you want display it in the county chambers. And I don't know if that will be the case but if it is, it won't be any cost to the county. I will go ahead and have the sign made myself. “

But not everyone was supportive of the motto display. In an open letter to the supervisors, Eureka attorney Peter Martin and local resident Carole Beaton say that the display would violate the separation of church and state. By bringing forward the resolution, they say Bohn would be injecting religion into county government.

“People in this county believe in many religions and no religion,” said Beaton. “Twenty percent of people now say they don't believe in any religion. So that's a large portion of our population. People believe in one god, many gods, or no gods, so why should ‘In God We Trust’ be emblazoned in the board of supervisors? It just causes division and derision. It causes a problem where there isn't a problem to start with.”

Supervisor Bohn said he decided to remove the resolution from the agenda due to threat of lawsuit and rising controversy.