Oceanside Council Votes 5-0 to Add 'In God We Trust' Motto to City Plaque

( [email protected] ) Jul 22, 2004 07:51 PM EDT

The Oceanside City Council of California voted, 5-0, Wednesday to integrate the national motto “In God We Trust” as part of their City Seal, after a three-hour spirited council meeting in which the majority of the 100 residents who addressed the council spoke in favor of the motto.

“This is telling our citizens in the city of Oceanside that this will be a council, a city that believes in something higher than man to guide them,” Councilman Jack Feller told Fox News.

“In God We Trust,” which Congress adopted as the national motto in 1956, will be displayed below the City’s logo, while the word “Liberty” will written about it.

Wednesday’s decision ends a nearly year-long debate on the issue. The Council first approved the measure last year but later rejected the idea due to fear of the possiblity of a lawsuit.

Feller revived his request Wednesday to place the plaque on a wall located behind the mayor's chair in the City Council chambers.

Opponents believe the plaque violates the seperation of church and state. Some have contacted the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) to sue the town over the plaque. ACLU--the legal group responsible for the removal of the cross image from the Los Angeles County Seal after it threatened the County Board with a lawsuit earlier this year--has yet to decide whether to take the Oceanside case.

In an interview with Fox News, Feller explained why the council’s decision was justified.

He said, “A part of what this country is about is a majority of people -- on any subject -- set the laws.”