Fact Check

Red States Mandate All Public Schools To Display 'In God We Trust'?

"Hallelujah!," one person simply commented on Facebook.

Published Sept. 20, 2023

 (SpaceX Lovers/Facebook)
Image Via SpaceX Lovers/Facebook
Claim:
In September 2023, red states (i.e., those that typically vote Republican in presidential elections) mandated displaying the motto "In God We Trust" in all public schools.

On Sept. 19, 2023, SpaceXMania published an article claiming that red states had mandated the display "In God We Trust" in all public schools. Red states are those that typically vote for Republicans in presidential elections:

Breaking: All Public Schools in Red States Are Now Mandated to Display "In God We Trust"

The intricate dance between education, politics, and religion in the U.S. has never been more pronounced. One recent turn in this ballet is the decision in red states — traditionally conservative or Republican-leaning regions — to mandate the display of "In God We Trust" in all public schools.

We found the article posted to Facebook, where it seems most users replying in the comments section believed that red states had actually mandated "In God We Trust" being displayed in all public schools. "Hallelujah!" one person simply commented. 

However, the SpaceXMania article was not a factual recounting of real-life events. On the website's Disclaimer page, SpaceXMania described some of its articles as being humorous or satirical in nature, as follows:

Please note that some of the articles on this website are satirical in nature and are not meant to be taken seriously. These articles are meant to be humorous and are often entirely made up. We make no claim that the information presented in these articles is true or accurate.

It is true that some states, not all of them red, mandate the display of the motto in public schools. At the time of this writing, EdWeek reported at least 17 states either required or explicitly allowed schools to display the phrase "In God We Trust."  In August 2023, a Louisiana state law went into effect that required a sign with the motto to be posted within each individual classroom in the state's public schools. 

However, there was no evidence at the time of this writing that red states generally had mandated the phrase "In God We Trust" to be displayed in all public schools. If this was the case, it would presumably make major headlines at reputable news publications, including those focused on education. We found that not to be the case at the time of this writing.

We've previously fact-checked satirical claims from SpaceXMania before, including that the New York Jets' head coach would "quit on the spot" if the team signed Colin Kaepernick.

For background, here is why we sometimes write about satire/humor.

Sources

Disclaimer - SpaceXMania. 3 Jan. 2021, https://spacexmania.com/disclaimer/.

LaMagdeleine, Izz Scott. "New York Jets' Head Coach Will 'Quit on the Spot' If Team Signs Kaepernick?" Snopes, 19 Sept. 2023, https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/colin-kaepernick-jets/.

Mikkelson, David. "Why We Include Humor and Satire in Snopes.Com." Snopes, 15 Aug. 2019, https://www.snopes.com/notes/why-we-include-humor-and-satire-in-snopes-com/.

Ogunbayo, Morayo. "Louisiana Public Schools Now Required to Display 'In God We Trust' in All Classrooms." CNN, 2 Aug. 2023, https://www.cnn.com/2023/08/02/us/louisiana-public-schools-in-god-we-trust/index.html.

Schwartz, Sarah. "Louisiana's Public Schools Must Now Display 'In God We Trust' in Classrooms." Education Week, 3 Aug. 2023. www.edweek.org, https://www.edweek.org/policy-politics/louisianas-public-schools-must-now-display-in-god-we-trust-in-classrooms/2023/08.

"Why Do We Have 'Red States' And 'Blue States'?" Dictionary.Com, 27 Aug. 2020, https://www.dictionary.com/e/red-states-blue-states-democrat-republican/.

Izz Scott LaMagdeleine is a fact-checker for Snopes.