Commission approves "In God We Trust," but not going up just yet

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CLINTON, Tenn. (WVLT) - It's amazing how four words can stir up such strong emotions, but the crowd at the Anderson County Courthouse was fired up.

Many of them want to see "In God We Trust" put up outside courthouse.

After a long debate, and some confusion, the commissioners voted 12-4 to approve the installation.

So now, the proposal heads to the operations committee and law director, who will review the plan and make the final decision on whether the words will go up.

"This is something that people take a passion in, and it makes you feel good, and I don't have a problem with it," said Commission Chairman Chuck Fritts, who voted "yes."

Of course one big point of contention was the separation of church and state.

While many feel using the word "God" does not infringe on the religious freedom of others, one woman who identified herself as a Christian, feels the motto should not be on the building.

"And I suggest to you, that the Lord rules your heart, but government needs to be apart from any particular mention of the word 'God,'" said Anna Garcia Garland, an Oak Ridge city councilwoman who was against it.

"I don't believe that it infringes on the right of anyone. I feel that it is a slogan, that my understanding is that 396 Congressmen voted to reaffirm it as our national motto," said Tom Byrge, who supported putting up the motto.

Four commissioners did vote no, and one of them wasn't surprised by the decision, but he hoped everyones view point could've been heard during the process.

"I don't think it's our place to do it, but if that's what the county citizens are going to allow to happen, then it's gonna happen," said Commissioner Whitey Hitchcock, who voted "no."

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