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Post Office Prohibits 'In God We Trust' Posters

Netlore Archive: Did U.S. post offices in Texas order the removal of posters bearing the motto 'In God We Trust'?

Description: Email rumor
Circulating since: Dec 2002
Status: Mostly accurate

Email example contributed by S. Conway, 16 Dec 2002:

Subject: Fwd: Let's help the Post Office

Dear Friends,

You may have heard in the news that a couple of Post Offices in Texas have been forced to take down small posters that say "IN GOD WE TRUST". The law they are violating (?) is something silly about electioneering posters. (is God running for office?) Anyway, I heard it proposed on a radio station show, that we all write "IN GOD WE TRUST" on the back of all our mail. After all, that is our national motto, and it's on all the money we use to buy those stamps. I think it is a wonderful idea. We must take back our nation from all the people who think that anything that offends them should be removed.

If you like this idea, please pass it on, and DO IT.

God Bless America

Comments: By all means, if you wish to write "In God We Trust" on every piece of mail you send, go ahead; but don't assume that by doing so you will teach the post office a lesson it hasn't already learned.

As a result of publicity surrounding the incident described above (which really did happen), as well as the passage of a U.S. House resolution in 2000 encouraging the display of the "In God We Trust" motto in public buildings, posters featuring the slogan will soon be hanging in every single one of the 38,000 post offices around the country, according to a November 2002 announcement by U.S. Postal Service. The design will resemble a giant postage stamp featuring an illustration of the Statue of Liberty with the words "In God We Trust" emblazoned across the top.

According to Postal Service officials, it wasn't the religious motto that caused the original posters to be removed from its offices in Texas. The problem was that they were created and distributed by a private citizen, Frank Williamson, a retired engineer who wanted to remind his fellow Americans after the events of 9/11 that "our nation has always been successful because our forefathers put their trust in God." Postal Service regulations generally prohibit the posting of printed materials by private citizens on its premises.

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Sources and further reading:

"Montgomery Man Inspires Postal Service to Display Posters."
Associated Press, 17 November 2002.

"Victory Seals Poster's Fate."
Houston Chronicle, 16 November 2002.

Last updated: 01/13/03

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