ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — A Minnesota lawmaker wants public schools to display the United States motto “In God We Trust.”

A State Senate Committee on Tuesday held an informational hearing on the bill, which is getting some push back. It’s part of a nationwide movement to convince public schools to display a poster with the motto “In God We Trust” in a prominent place in the school.

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The display would be paid for with private funds. Critics say it violates the separation of church and state. But the bill’s author says it’s actually a message of respect.

“God and country is no longer lifted up in a place of honor like it once was. And in part, it seems to be eliminated from our schools. There are those who are afraid to even bring up God and country in our schools,” Sen. Dan Hall said.

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“It’s not the state’s business, and it’s not the school’s business, to be taking sides in this very personal decision,” August Berkshire of Minnesota Athiests said.

Minnesota already requires schools to display an American flag, and to say the Pledge of Allegiance at least once a week.

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Hall’s district 56 covers parts of Burnsville, Lakeville and Savage.