Despite law saying it must accept and display "In God We Trust" signs, Texas school rejects rainbow-colored and Arabic ones

Originally published at: Despite law saying it must accept and display "In God We Trust" signs, Texas school rejects rainbow-colored and Arabic ones | Boing Boing


This is the law functioning exactly as intended by the conservatives who passed it and exactly as expected by everyone else who saw this selective enforcement coming a mile away.

All In God We Trust signs are equal, but some are more equal than others.


I’m looking forward to the lawsuits.


Good at least to see the assholes forced to show their true colors.


I’m trying to imagine the amount of insecurity needed to write some sort of law like this.


I still don’t understand how a law can require it using donated signs.

If no one donated signs would every district be in violation?

And anyone want in on the pool of how long before some sex scandal or tax fraud makes the news for Patriot Mobile, the company funding these school board candidates and donating signs.

I wonder what their bible says about using God for profit? Their company website is interesting to say the least.


IANAL, but I’m going to guess it sidesteps many potential legal challenges.

There’s no taxpayer money involved, so it’s not “government funded religion”. The signs aren’t mandatory; no donations, no signs. First amendment issues can be easier to ignore since they are donations, not produced or funded by the government. I bet these donated signs can also be used as tax write offs. :nauseated_face:

It’s all very slippery and going by letter of the law interpretations one could argue the Arabic sign doesn’t contain the words “in god we trust” which the law requires. The law also doesn’t state that every donated sign must be displayed, only that one must be displayed. A rainbow could be argued to run counter to the “no other information” clause.


Holy shit, their website is something else. I’m shocked, but not shocked.


Not only that, but the astounding lack of self-awareness in not seeing how much it advertises that insecurity to the rest of the world. These people, who are so merciless in mocking and bullying anyone they see as a weak “snowflake”, seem to be too stupid to even realize they’re proudly blaring their own vulnerability and cowardice through their attempts to make “safe spaces” for fascists.


Is it about insecurity, or is it about reminding everybody atheists are not included in “America”


It’s both


Can’t wait to see the Satanists leap onto this bandwagon. I mean, there’s more than one God, isn’t there?

No, really, there is!


The law is states that the text must say “In God We Trust” and only have images of the US and Texan flags. It said nothing about language or background though.

As for other gods, I’m trying to work out how to create a Church of Cybele in a way that is is like the Church of the Subgenius, and doesn’t become like Scientology. The TERs will call it a cult, but they call transgender a cult anyway, so trans people in the US might as well have the protections that other religions have.


Nice turn of phrase. Should be used more often to highlight exactly what these fuckwits are up to: trying to create safe spaces for their fascism. In a civilised society safe spaces for fascists would be an anathema - just like the fascists themselves should be (though I’m attracted to the idea of an internment camp as a literal ‘safe space’ for fascists) but unfortunately it seems that in significant sections of US society, whilst still in a minority, fascism is no longer an anathema and they do really want the right to their ‘safe space’.

That pesky US amendment re free speech needs an intolerance sub-clause … (always timely image)


I think the turn would be in that the government is mandating the signs be displayed once donated.

Nothing wrong with someone donating a sign to the school, but when the government mandates that one must be displayed once donated, regardless of whether the government itself funded the sign, it becomes a state mandated religious sign.

I think the Church of Satan suing to have their own signs put up will likely expose the unconstitutionality of the law.


Shocked Patrick Stewart GIF

I mean, there’s more than one God, isn’t there?

According to the Old Testament (the right’s favourite part of the Bible) - yes. Other gods are mentioned numerous times.


And then there is the problem that Yahweh and Elohim were originally two different gods. Which one do we trust?

Judaism and mainline Christianity are more likely to accept the history with some mild justification for why it happened, but a lot of the Xtianists reject it.


For reference, the full text of the law in question is available here. Best I can tell, based on Section 2 (“SECTION 2. Section 1.004, Education Code, is repealed.”), it’s replacing a law that had already been on the books since 2003 (see Section 1.004 here), mandating almost exactly the same thing with two minor exceptions. One is that the requirement to display donated motto signs now applies to all government buildings, not just schools. The other is the requirement that there be “no other information.”

It sounds like the Texas legislators who created the amendment knew the phone company was about to start donating these signs and that others would respond by donating signs that technically complied with the law but which would horrify the right-wingers, so they tried to close any loopholes before the donations started.

“No other information” is, admittedly, pretty clever wording. It probably precludes playing games with fonts, colors, etc. Even things like displaying the flag upside down or modifying the font size, bolding, or capitalization of each letter would be construed as “additional information”. (“IN god WET RUST”, etc)

I looked hard for loopholes when I first read about the amendment, and the only one I could spot was possibly being able to flood a school with more posters than they could possibly display, so that every surface had to be covered in them. But A) the use of the article “a” (“a sign”) in one spot gives them enough ambiguity to probably dodge that in court and B) this is Texas – if someone attempted to use the law in any way other than the one right-wingers prefer, the courts would insist on honoring the “clear intent” of the law rather than a strict reading of it. Despite happily playing the opposite game when that suits their needs better.


100% predictable.

(The first news story I saw on this had a photo with the guy holding the Arabic sign upside-down. Whether that was clueless or deliberately disrespectful, I don’t know.)

1 Like