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South Dakota’s Republican Governor Kristi Noem recently signed into law Senate Bill 55, a bill that requires all public schools to display “In God We Trust” signs in a prominent place beginning next school year.

But the bill itself is fairly vague beyond those rules… and last night, during a meeting of the Rapid City School Board, members of the Working to Initiate Social Equality Club (WISE) at Stevens High School presented the board with a version of the sign they wanted to see in their school.

Instead of just saying “In God We Trust,” it includes a lot of other words, too

That sign offers a circle of options to stand in for the second word in the motto, including “God,” “Yahweh,” “Ourselves,” “Science,” “Allah,” “Brahman,” “Buddha,” and “The Spirits.”

“I think that’s a really foundational element of American society is that we are a cultural melting pot and it is really important that we make all people who come to America to feel welcome and to be more in accordance with the first amendment since we all have the freedom of religion,” says Abigail Ryan, a Stevens student and member of WISE

The board heard the student group’s opinion, but took no action on the matter.

How is it that the students always understand compassion and the Constitution far more than the Republicans in charge?

This is a brilliant approach to a pointless law. Instead of letting conservatives get away with an act of Christian supremacy, using public schools as pawns in their game, the students found a loophole that doesn’t emphasize God. I love that “Allah” is directly next to the “We Trust” part. It may be coincidence, but it’ll still infuriate the purveyors of the Christian Nation myth.

The school board would be wise to adopt the design and every other South Dakota school with sensible administrators should follow suit.

(Thanks to Brian for the link)

Hemant Mehta is the founder of, a YouTube creator, podcast co-host, and author of multiple books about atheism. He can be reached at @HemantMehta.

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