On Feb. 9, Klamath County commissioners formally approved a sign reading “In God We Trust” to be permanently attached to the back of the Klamath County Government Center Commission’s meeting room.
A week before, the city’s commissioners voted 2 to 1 in approval of the sign, which was the original idea of Klamath County Commissioner Tom Mallams.
Five years ago, Congress re-affirmed “In God We Trust” as the national motto. Since federal lawmakers supported this slogan, Mallams regarded the four-foot sign as one appropriate for the Klamath public house.
At the meeting where the decision was formalized, 44 local citizens spoke to the commissioners and town representatives. Of those, 39 residents were in favor of adding the sign to the room.
Supporters agreed that the sign was suitable as it represented American religious history. According to a detailed report by the Herald and News, one resident supported his argument in favor of the sign with the claim that our Constitution contains no statement regarding the separation of church and state.
Opponents contended that such a sign would violate the tradition of separation of church and state, which was the original intent behind such sections of the Constitution, whether or not the words were specifically written.
Klamath Falls City Councilor Trish Seiler publicly opposed the sign. In their Feb. 10 report, the Herald and News acknowledged that Seiler had received death threats from anonymous Klamath locals after speaking out against the sign when the idea was first brought up a year ago.
The construction and placement of the sign was funded by local donations, including those from a private group of residents who raised $2,000. A local metalworker was hired to create the sign.
By Kiki Genoa