EDITORIAL: ‘In God We Trust’ Offends Neighbor

in god we trust offends utah neighbor

EDITOR’S NOTE:  The source whose story is told in this article is related to the writer, the story is newsworthy and thus given as an exception to the general principle of St. George News to avoid stories that may include a perceived conflict of interest.

According to Cornell University Law School, “The right to freedom of speech allows individuals to express themselves without interference or constraint by the government,” as stated in the First Amendment in the United States Constitution.

Christine Evans, a resident of Magna, says those rights are being tested in her neighborhood with local law enforcement. Evans has had the police called on her multiple times because of a sign she painted on her living room window.

Evans painted “In God We Trust” in red, white and blue paint on her glass window when her son was preparing for his first deployment to Iraq. A neighbor called police saying the sign was offensive, Evans said.

“First she taped a sticky note to my star (hung on the front door), to take out the ‘In God We Trust’ because ‘it offends me,’” Evans said.

Evans admits she didn’t handle the situation well, yelling at her neighbor from her porch. But then Evans decided to take a quieter approach – she repainted the sign and then at Christmastime, she put up red, white and blue lights.

“I was crying the whole time [while repainting the sign],” Evans said. “For seven years I don’t get to see my son. I didn’t get to see him leave for Iraq because he was in Germany.”

In response to Evans repainting the sign, she said the police came knocking on her door again. She said the police are required to inform her that her neighbors want her to remove it, but legally they cannot force her to do so.

Evans said there are not a lot of service members in Magna.

“People don’t like the fact that I put my flags up,” she said. “They’re upset because I put ‘In God We Trust’.”

Even though her son is no longer serving in Iraq, she wants people to keep remembering.

“There’s somebody still out there. There’s still a mother crying because her son is out there. There is a mother putting her kids to bed alone because her husband isn’t home yet,” she said. “Even if I don’t have a serviceman out there, someone is still out there. It doesn’t mean you forget.”

Evans said she was warned that her window would be shot out.

“That’s why I have insurance,” she said. “I’ll put up a bigger, better window.”

Americans have forgotten what our country was founded upon and I would go so far as to argue that the First Amendment was not to keep God out of government; it was to keep the government from forcing a particular religion on the people.

Citizens for a Better Government said: Thomas Jefferson wrote to the Baptists of Danbury, Connecticut [from which letter we derive the term “separation of church and state”], and  he made it quite clear that the wall of separation was to insure that government would never interfere with religious activities because religious freedom came from God, not from government.

On what basis does a neighbor found a professed right to use police force to make someone take down their sign because they are offended by the word “God?”

If the sign said, “In Allah We Trust,” would the neighbor have complained and ask that it be removed?

This is a free country and I defend my right to pray in school, to say the Pledge of Allegiance, and to sing God Bless the USA. And I defend my right to boycott NBC for removing “God” from the Pledge of Allegiance.

To those who are offended, I say, “You neither have to partake nor look nor hear; for you who are offended may turn and walk the other way.”

I wonder, if this same neighbor were to move to Cairo  would he or she presume to inform its citizens that they may not say the Salat in public because it is offensive?

email jwatkins@stgnews.com

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2011, all rights reserved.

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7 Comments

  • Stacy July 5, 2011 at 11:24 am

    god bless the usa!! why are people set out to destroy our country our own citizens for crying out loud . the word god in our pledge and decleration and on our money and so on has been there for generations!!!!!!! stop being offended and suck it up be an american stop trying to ruin the very foundation this great country has been founded on. if u get offended then move out of the states go somewhere where they dont use the word god!!!

  • Ron July 5, 2011 at 1:05 pm

    Sad, but true…that due to the sacrifices of all our servicemen and women in all the various conflicts, that it is because of these unselfish people that there are those who have the right to voice their displeasure with the words “in God we trust”. Instead of being grateful for their service to this country, they choose to disrespect their neighbors by demanding they remove those words from the mothers window. If they feel offended by those words then maybe they should consider moving to Pakistan or Eygpt or some other country where they won’t be offended by “in God we trust”. Maybe they should just burn all their U.S. currency because those same words are on their money. As a former LEO, I would have instructed the complaining party that is is not a criminal matter, but a civil matter, and would not have even considered responding to the call. To the mother whose son served…may God continue to bless her and her family.

  • Not a Mormon July 5, 2011 at 4:41 pm

    This really isn’t news worthy – it’s just typical small minded people attempting to bully someone else. Why is that news? This will be handled either in the courts where it belongs or personally by the people involved (the preferred method).

    She’s completely within her 1st amendment rights to put up the sign – and good for her for doing so.
    Her neighbors are also completely within their 1st amendment rights to ask her to take the sign down.

    The police are put in a tough spot here. If there are enough complaints that this is causing “public alarm” then they have a legal obligation to investigate “disorderly conduct”. It’s a terrible sign of the times in which we live that the police can’t tell the complainant to “go to hell” and stop bothering them with this nonsense.

    Neighbors who agree with the woman in this story should all put up their own sign to send a message to the ornery neighbor. If that doesn’t work, tipping over garbage cans, doorbell ditching, and other light hearted mischief will hopefully cause the old coot to move away. Don’t leave evidence!

  • paramin July 5, 2011 at 9:15 pm

    I think any time somebody even attempts to take away the freedoms of another I want to know about it, so this is very news worthy. I’m glad this Woman did not back down from her neighbor and hope I raise my children to love this country and God.

  • Not a Mormon July 5, 2011 at 9:53 pm

    Paramin wrote: “I think any time somebody even attempts to take away the freedoms of another I want to know about it, so this is very news worthy.”

    Meh, this is one person in one town being stupid. It’s not the city, state, or federal government imposing draconian laws. The police are obligated to respond because we live in a litigious, sue-happy society where the squeaky wheel gets the grease. If they’re not placated, then they sue the PD because it has deep pockets. As the piece says, the cops can’t enforce anything. The instant they tried would bring a storm of legal drama.

    I’m interested to see how it turns out, and I hope the community sticks it to the offended party, but this certainly is not news worthy.

  • K. James July 6, 2011 at 11:14 am

    I had a neighbor like that. She wasn’t really offended, she was just looking for a fight. My experience taught me that some people distract themselves from their personal problems by turning on others. This neighbor needs to seek counseling, but of course that can’t be enforced until something really awful happens.

    We are free to be happy or stupid in the USA as long as we don’t bother other people. If the offended neighbor can’t back off, he/she will eventually do something that crosses the line and end up in court, like my neighbor did.

  • Tsuya July 6, 2011 at 12:55 pm

    They have threatened to shoot out the woman’s front window why isn’t that being dealt with? That’s a threat of violence and did the police do anything about that? This is rediculous people do things to offend me all the time I just ignore them rather than make it a problem. But this should absolutely be in the news. This woman is being bullied and harassed by an ignorant self rightous person and it shouldn’t be happening period. When will people stand up on the side of right and put a stop to the bullying??? The community needs to rally behind this woman and let this other idiot know that their behavior won’t be tolerated period.

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