Action Alert

Keep “God” out of Arizona state schools!

Please tell Arizona state representatives to vote against a bill that would encourage schools to put the phrase “God Enriches” in every public school classroom in the state.

Earlier this month, the Arizona House Education Committee passed SB 1289, a bill that urges every public school in the state to place the phrase “DITAT DEUS,” which means “GOD ENRICHES,” in every school building. Even though the phrase is, disgracefully, the state motto, there is no question of this bill’s religious intent. The full House is the last body that can kill this bill before it heads to the governor’s desk. Please contact your state representative and tell them to oppose SB 1289.

Arizona law already encourages schools to violate their students’ freedom of conscience by posting the phrase “In God We Trust,” as well as “excerpts” of documents that all have a specifically Christian theme, such as the Mayflower Compact. Virtually identical laws have landed school districts in legal trouble when teachers incorrectly thought they were permitted to promote religion through these displays under the guise of patriotism, which is precisely the intent of SB 1289.

Please take action TODAY to oppose this attempt to insert religion into Arizona public schools. The full Arizona House of Representatives will soon consider this bill, so they need to hear your voice right away. Please call or email your personal representative and urge them to vote against SB 1289. Find your legislator by going to this link and entering your address.

Learn more about this bill.

MESSAGE

Personalize your statement if possible, or feel free to cut and paste the wording below. For best effect, be concise and polite.

I am writing to strongly oppose SB 1289, which will soon be considered by the full House. Even though “Ditat Deus” is our state motto, it carries a clear religious message that has no place in our secular public schools.

§ 15-717 already has a clear goal of promoting religion in public school classrooms, under the guise of patriotism. This bill’s attempt to add yet another religious display to is a clearly religious goal that is anathema to the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and marginalizes the 21 percent of young Americans who are either atheist or agnostic, according to a recent study. These students do not believe that they are “enriched” by any gods, and no message to the contrary should be expressed to them by their government.

Public schools are facing real problems that demand real solutions, not prayers or trusting in a god. Placing a Latin phrase meaning “God Enriches” in public schools especially alongside “In God We Trust,” sends the message that we can offer students no help other than prayers. Far better would be our original national motto, “E Pluribus Unum” (Out of Many, One).

Please vote against SB 1289 and encourage your colleagues to do the same.

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