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Changes in 'In God We Trust' sign are not enough, ACLU says

Posted: Friday, September 29, 2000

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) -- The sign has gotten bigger and the word ''God'' has shrunk, but Shawnee County Treasurer Rita Cline still faces a lawsuit over a sign at her office proclaiming, ''In God We Trust.''

The American Civil Liberties Union last month filed a petition in U.S. District Court in Topeka, asking the court to force Cline to take down the sign.

In the petition, the ACLU accused Cline of inappropriately using her office to push her religion on many occasions.

Dick Kurtenbach, executive director of ACLU's Kansas and western Missouri chapter, located in Kansas City, Mo., said the changes Cline made to the sign don't change the ACLU's position.

''The lawsuit is proceeding, and it's important to note the sign is only part of the issue,'' he said.

The ACLU had said the message went beyond the national motto because the word ''God'' was printed in red letters bigger than the letters of the rest of the phrase.

Cline said she offered ACLU members the opportunity to redesign the sign, but they never responded, so a staff member in her office did.

The original sign was 11 by 14 inches, purchased from the American Family Association and displayed in a wooden frame just inside the entrance to the treasurer's office. The new sign is 16 by 20 inches, includes the bald eagle image from the $1 bill and uses uniform lettering similar to that on U.S. currency.

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