Missouri woman says 'In God we trust' sign excludes her and other atheists

FacebookNikki Olden Moungo

A Ballwin, Missouri woman is fighting her city council over a proposed "In God We Trust" sign in city buildings.

Nikki Olden Moungo recently appeared before the council to voice her concerns, but felt that her statements fell on deaf ears. However, video of her speech has gone viral.

"I've been getting a lot of messages and emails, people offering their support," Moungo told KSDK.

The Knights of Columbus asked the council last month to put the religious sign in all government buildings, and pledged $750 toward the initiative. Moungo offered $1,000 for the council to erect a different message: "E pluribus unum," Latin for "out of many, one."

"We are all equal in the eyes of the government," she said.

Ballwin Mayor Tim Pogue told KSDK that the council is considering the controversial "In God We Trust" sign because it has been the national motto since 1956, and was reaffirmed as such in 2011. Moungo sees the slogan as a slap in the face.

"What you are saying to your residents is that you don't matter, the non-believers or a different religion you don't matter," she insisted. "There's people from all walks of life here, you have Buddhists and Muslims, that's what makes Ballwin and St. Louis a great place to live."

The council is expected to issue a decision on the proposed sign at their September 22 meeting.

Last month, the Mobile County Commission in Alabama came under fire for approving the display of the motto "In God We Trust" in their chambers.

Although there were complaints from atheists and other citizens touting separation of church and state issues, other Mobile County residents agreed with the commissioners' vote.

"'In God We Trust' is the general statement of the mass belief of our county," one citizen said during the commissioner meeting.

"This is our national motto," John Butler, a Christian, added. "It's a foundation for America. It's what America stands for."

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