Visalia May Add “In God We Trust” to Chambers

Councilmember Steve Nelsen requested at the August 7 Visalia City Council meeting that an item be put on the next regular agenda to discuss posting, “In God We Trust” over Visalia’s city in seal in the chambers.

Nelsen cited that the United States Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in the spring of 2014 that legislative bodies such as city councils can begin their meetings with prayer. Since then there has been a national movement for cities and counties to make “In God We Trust” part of each city and county’s motto.

During public comment community activist, Renee Lapin, stated that Dinuba, Tulare and Porterville have all adopted the “In God We Trust” motto but that the organization behind the movement is not admirable and not something with which Visalia should be associated.

Councilmember Greg Collins said that he prefers to keep council business local and said that it is “an interesting conversation, but not one for us.”

“This building is for everyone,” he said.

Mayor Warren Gubler said that surely we want this in our hearts but “do we need it on the wall behind us? I don’t know.”

Vice-Mayor Bob Link didn’t say whether he was in favor or against the change, but respects the fact that it is important to another council member to discuss.

The vote was 4-1 in favor with Collins voting no. The item is tentatively scheduled for the August 21 meeting at 7pm at the Visalia City Chambers.

8 thoughts on “Visalia May Add “In God We Trust” to Chambers

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  1. Are we going to indicate in which “god” we trust? Does Odin or Jupiter get equal billing? What about us atheists, who do *not* trust “god”? Visalia’s gone without such a motto for 143 years, we don’t one now.

  2. I absolutely do not support this idea. This is a Christian oriented phrase, and people in Visalia have a diversity of Spiritual traditions. This certainly includes Atheists, Agnostics, Wiccan and others. I vote NO.

  3. It is A.D. 2017. Don’t they think that sounds a bit disingenuous? Each member of the council makes free will decisions, hopefully for the benefit of their community. The god I’m familiar with will not take credit or blame for what they do.

  4. I absolutely disagree with this. First off which god specifically will the city of Visalia be endorsing?
    We have many churches in Visalia that all have slightly different gods and a population of people that worship no gods at all.
    Second if they feel they need something watching over them to be fair and just politicians, they should not be our leaders. I want someone that will be honest when no one is looking.

  5. With a church sometimes literally on every corner, Visalia’s predominate faith is already clearly on display. No one doubts that the area is conservative, but it’s always been a private choice. The line between church and state is being upheld and should remain that way.

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