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Florida Man Trolls Texas Republicans’ ‘In God We Trust’ Posters

The Texas Legislature passed a law last year that requires public schools to display posters that say “In God We Trust” in a “conspicuous place” but only if the poster is “donated” or “purchased by private donations.” The new law, Senate Bill 797, is the latest attempt by Republican legislators to insert religious beliefs into the public square and prolong the culture wars playing out in public schools. 

But Florida activist Chaz Stevens found the law irksome and decided to do something about it. “That should be irritating for you, regardless of what God or not-God you believe in,” he said

As of Thursday evening, Mr. Stevens, a self-described “staunch atheist,” had raised more than $14,000 to distribute “In God We Trust” signs to Texas public schools written in Arabic. Mr. Stevens reasoned that there was no explicit  requirement that the motto be written in English. “My focus,” he said, “was how do I game the state of Texas with the rules?”

The Arabic text is meant to be redolent of Islam and provoke some Christians’ unease with that faith, Stevens suggested.  

He’s hoping schools hang up the poster to make a point about applying the statute evenly to people of any religion or no religion. If a school rejects his poster he plans to file a lawsuit and use the court case to challenge the statute itself.

Don’t mess with Texas? Chaz Stevens didn’t get the memo. 

Nick Anderson
Nick Anderson
Writer, editor, photographer and editorial cartoonist Nick Anderson has joined the Reform Austin newsroom, where he will employ the artistic skill and political insights that earned a Pulitzer Prize to drive coverage of Texas government. As managing editor, Anderson is responsible for guiding Reform Austin’s efforts to give readers the unfiltered facts they need to hold Texas leaders accountable. Anderson’s original cartoons will be a regular feature on RA News. “Reform Austin readers understand the consequences of electing politicians who use ideological agendas to divide us, when they should be doing the hard work necessary to make our state government work for everyone,” Anderson said. “As a veteran journalist, I’m excited about Reform Austin’s potential to re-focus conversations on the issues that matter to common-sense Texans – like protecting our neighborhoods from increasingly common disasters, healthcare, just to name a few.” Anderson worked for the Houston Chronicle, the largest newspaper in Texas, from 2006 until 2017. In addition to the Pulitzer, Anderson earned the Society of Professional Journalists’ Sigma Delta Chi Award. He’s also a two-time winner of Columbia College’s Fischetti Award, and the National Press Foundation’s Berryman Award. Anderson’s cartoons have been published in Newsweek, the New York Times, the Washington Post, USA Today, the Chicago Tribune and other papers. In 2005, Anderson won the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Cartooning while working for the Courier-Journal in Louisville, Kentucky. The judges complimented his “unusual graphic style that produced extraordinarily thoughtful and powerful messages.”


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