Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

Local News

August 29, 2008

Locals respond to ’Net poll on removing ‘In God We Trust’

By Cristin Ross

cross@jacksonvilleprogress.com

It’s time for Americans to put their money where their motto is.

MSNBC.com has launched a “Live Vote” Internet poll on its Web site, asking “should the motto ‘In God We Trust’ be removed from U.S. currency?”

Some Cherokee County residents have gotten wind of the poll via e-mail from others.

“I’ve sent it to probably 50 people already,” Rusk resident Don Vandever said. “And I’ve voted on every computer I have.”

His vote? To keep the motto in plain sight.

“We need to leave it right where it is,” he said, “because that’s exactly what this country was founded on. It was important then and it’s just as important now, if not more so.”

The e-mail includes the Web site link http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/10103521/, which computer users can click on to cast their votes.

Of the 7,230,365 votes cast as of 11:45 a.m. Monday, 78 percent of those participating in the poll voted to keep the motto, compared to 22 percent voting to remove it from U.S. currency.

“That doesn’t surprise me,” said Kevin King, senior pastor of the First United Methodist Church-Jacksonville. “I think most people, particularly in this region, have a deep faith and believe this country was founded on that.

“It’s tied to our heritage as much as anything and most people want to see that remain solid in our culture,” King said.

The Daily Progress’s attempts to interview a local atheist were unsuccessful.

MSNBC’s Web site acknowledges the poll is not a scientific survey. Phone messages left at MSNBC offices were not returned as of presstime today.

The poll stems from an Associated Press article, also published on the Web site, chronicling the efforts of Sacramento, Calif., atheist Michael Newdow to get the motto removed.

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