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  1. Secular Student Alliance at USA:Local Church/State Activism By Amanda Scott

  2. The movement behind ‘In God We Trust’ • In 2002, Bakersfield Council member Jacquie Sullivan pushed the Council to display 'In God We Trust' in the council chambers at City Hall • In 2004, Sullivan started a non-profit organization under the name of In God We Trust – America, Inc. for the purpose of ‘spreading the mission of patriotism across America’ • Hundreds of cities have voted to display the motto since, and Mobile County is the largest county to do so

  3. The push for ‘In God We Trust’ in Mobile • On June 10, 2014, Baldwin County resident Jon Butler and Mobile Tea Party politician Pete Riehm went before the Mobile City Council to propose a resolution to display ‘In God We Trust’ in Mobile Government Plaza • The council members informed them that the Mobile County Commission was responsible for altering the decorum in Mobile Government Plaza

  4. The push back against ‘In God We Trust’ in Mobile • On June 19, 2014, I led testimony before the Mobile County Commission against the display • Speakers included the Atheist Alliance of America, Alabama Chapter of Americans United, the Mobile Atheist Community and the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Mobile • We outnumbered the speakers in favor 8 to 1, Pete Riehm was the only person who testified in favor • Unfortunately, the Commission voted 2-1 to approve the display

  5. Enter… Dean Young • Dean Young, the candidate for the 1st congressional district of Alabama that lost to Representative Bradley Byrne, found out about our challenge • He started a group called In God We Trust Movement for a constitutional amendment allowing local governments to display ‘In God We Trust’ • He rallied 70 to 80 people, mostly from Gulf Shores and Baldwin County, to attend our upcoming meeting

  6. The proposal for other mottoes • On August 7, 2014, I led testimony in favor of opening up Mobile Government Plaza as a public forum and allowing other groups to display their own mottoes • The Mobile Atheist Community proposed ‘In Reason We Trust,’ while the Black Hat Society of Mobile proposed ‘Blessed Be’ and the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Mobile proposed ‘Coexist’ • Unfortunately, the Commission unanimously opposed our proposal

  7. The local backlash against me • After the testimony, I accepted an interview request from WKRG News 5 • WKRG News 5 asked their viewers “What do you think of the local woman who wants an athiest [sic] motto in Government Plaza?” • Viewers commented wishing death upon me and attacking my personal character and physical appearance

  8. The support from the secular community • The Secular Student Alliance honored me with the Outstanding Activism Award • The Freedom From Religion Foundation endowed me with the $1,000 Catherine Fahringer Memorial Student Activist Award • Dogma Debate invited me onto their radio show • And I received hundreds of supportive messages of support from secular people all over the country

  9. The future of local secular activism • I am rebuilding the Secular Coalition for Alabama by seeking secular activists willing to serve on the Executive Committee • I am organizing testimony before the Alabama state legislature against the ‘student prayer bill’ • I am planning on erecting an ‘atheists in foxholes’ monument at the Baldwin County Courthouse in Bay Minette

  10. The secular movement needs you, too • You can join me by volunteering to serve on the Executive Committee for the Secular Coalition for Alabama • You will be called on to contact elected officials, write letters to the editor, and testify at public hearings • If you’re interested, e-mail me at contact@amandalscott.com • Together we can rebuild the wall of separation!