Aug 25, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Activist fundraises to send Arabic "In God We Trust" signs to Texas schools

Photo of a Texas state flag flying in the air

The Texas state flag flies in the air near an oil refinery on Jan. 21, 2022 in Houston, Texas. Photo: Brandon Bell via Getty Images

A Florida activist is fundraising to donate Arabic "In God We Trust" signs to Texas schools after a state law was enacted to require signs with the U.S. motto in public schools.

Why it matters: Critics have called the statute, which mandates that schools display the signs in a "conspicuous place" if they are donated, an attempt to reinforce Christian nationalist values across the state.

A screenshot of a tweet fundraising for "In God We Trust" signs written in Arabic for Texas schools.
Photo: Chaz Stevens/Twitter
  • The signs must "contain a representation of the United States flag centered under the national motto and a representation of the state flag." No other words, images or information are allowed.

Driving the news: Chaz Stevens, from Boca Raton, Fla., launched the GoFundMe page this week to "voice our dissent" with the law, according to a message posted on the fundraising platform.

  • He says he plans to flood Texas schools with "hundreds" of donations of Arabic-language "In God We Trust" posters.
  • "[W]e will not be silent while evangelical Christians stomp our collective rights."

By the numbers: The fundraiser, which was first reported by the Dallas Morning News, has raised over $18,000 as of Thursday evening.

The big picture: Several states have passed similar laws requiring the display of the motto in recent years.

  • Opponents argue that such laws impose religion on students and subvert expectations that schools remain secular.
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