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Marshall displays national motto, considers changes to Halloween tradition

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

A new motto hanging on the face of Marshall Council Chambers brought groups of Marshall residents to the building Tuesday evening.

"In God We Trust" welcomed members of the public to a regular meeting Sept. 6 at City Hall. No one objected to the display. No one praised it. The city council did approve a resolution, however, in favor of the display and the crowd filtered through the doors to take pictures directly after the meeting.

"I checked with ... the United States Supreme Court, the Missouri Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals, and they said 'In God We Trust' is a motto," Mayor Mark Gooden explained. "It's an official United States motto and it can be put into any public building."

Marshall residents and city council members observe the new sign reading "In God We Trust" before they enter the Council Chambers for a regular city council meeting Tuesday, Sept. 6.
(Sarah Reed/Democrat-News)
The City feels the display is a way to solemnize public occasions and express confidence in our society, according to the approved resolution.

Other business discussed Tuesday evening was the possibility of selecting a day and time for trick-or-treating rather than late evening Oct. 31.

As it gets later in the evening, the ages of kids on the streets increase, Marshall Police Chief Mike Donnell told council members.

He reiterated that trick-or-treating is an activity for children, however residents' and officers' safety are generally more at risk the darker it becomes on Halloween night.

Council members acknowledged the suggestion, considering passing a resolution that would encourage the annual activity to take place on a Sunday before the holiday. They'll discuss it further in the next regular meeting.

Councilmen did approve several items Tuesday, including authorizing contracts with Marshall Community Chorus and Marshall Philharmonic Orchestra, and passing a routine resolution with Marshall-Saline Development Corporation.

In addition, the city approved requiring park gatherings of 50 or more people to apply for a permit with the Marshall Parks and Recreation Department.

Airport activity decreased in the month of August, dropping to a total aircraft count of 584 -- less than half of July's 1,650 total aircraft.

A solid waste summary report reflected an increase in refuse by approximately 100 tons. The city collected 704 tons in July and 809 tons in August. There was 89.8 tons of paper collected for recycling in August, compared to 76.9 tons in July.

A proposed budget for 2011-2012 shows a deficit of $87,156. This includes a 12 percent hike in insurance premiums. Expected revenues total $9,553,592 and expenditures are anticipated to reach $9,640,748. According to City Administrator Connie Latimer, figures would be more solid in October, which could change the actual operating budget. The council will discuss it further in a future meeting.

All board members were present. The next regular meeting is scheduled at 5:15 p.m. Monday, Sept. 19.

Contact Sarah Reed at

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Marshall city officials want to remind residents that Halloween is still on Oct. 31. Moving the date of trick or treating was proposed as an idea to consider but was not acted on by the city council.

-- Posted by Eric Crump on Tue, Oct 4, 2011, at 3:43 PM

Perhaps folks would like to see the mayor's motivation behind his unilateral decision to inject religion into our city government.


These folks believe that we can't be a partiot without god in our goverment.

This is excactly why religion and government do not mix.

-- Posted by What the f...... on Tue, Sep 13, 2011, at 8:22 AM

I hate to break their poor little hearts, but my kids WILL be trick or treating on Halloween if the city likes it or not. Halloween isn't a city organized event. It's a holiday. it's on our calendars as October 31st and that's when it's going to get celebrated. If the police officers did their jobs properly then safety wouldn't be an issue, now would it?

-- Posted by citycutthat on Mon, Sep 12, 2011, at 9:24 PM


have you seen the follow-up story?


-- Posted by What the f...... on Sat, Sep 10, 2011, at 11:32 AM

It's a nice try folks, but if you keep pushing the cost thing some magnanimous citizen will step up and foot the bill for the signage thereby demeaning all arguments about the separation of church and state and creating a free speech argument about their right to spend money to influence government in any way desired.

Anybody want to bet me on this one?

-- Posted by Smart Dog on Sat, Sep 10, 2011, at 10:55 AM

Miss Marple et al:

The questions you raise of "how much did it cost" "who paid for it" and "how did the work get done prior to the approval of the council" are valid concerns. Since I don't believe this was a budgeted item I believe approval of the city council should have been procured prior to the work being done. Given that, there appears to be a violation of the Municipal Code the following questions should be asked and answered:

Who authorized the work to be done?

What accounting fund was used to pay for the work?

How much did it cost?

Did the council authorize the work to be done and approve the amount to be paid prior to the work being done?

Answers to the questions will determine what and how the Municipal Code has been violated. The degree of formality for purchases is dependent on the dollar amount of the purchase being made. For example, if it cost more than $2,500 to put the motto up then the code requires the Solicitation of bids and selection and approval of the winning bid by the City Council. Solicitation of bids would have required publication in public news sources. On the other hand, if this cost less than $1,000 and was already budgeted for then a department head could carry out the purchase. Since I don't believe this was a budgeted for item I believe that more formality is called for per Municipal Code.

Municipal Code Chapter 2, Article 5, Section 2-369 lists 6 exceptions to the general procedures for purchases: however, I do not believe any of these exceptions apply in this case. Further, Section 2-357 says,"No warrant shall be drawn on the treasury for any sum for any purpose, unless the claim for the payment of which it is issued shall be first allowed by the city council."

The appearance of the motto as "fait accompli" appears to have been accomplished by violating sections of the Municipal Code governing purchasing practices by the city. I do not believe the ex post facto passage of a resolution by the City Council authorizing the motto placement makes up for the violation of the Municipal Code. Those who govern are accountable to those who are governed for the deeds they carry out in the execution of the public office they hold. At a minimum the people expect the elected officials to abide by the law. I believe a public accounting for what has transpired is in order.

-- Posted by Clear Head on Fri, Sep 9, 2011, at 6:30 PM

"He (Police Chief) reiterated that trick-or-treating is an activity for children, however residents' and officers' safety are generally more at risk the darker it becomes on Halloween night"

Is he proposing a curfew for police officers on Halloween evening?


-- Posted by EiEiO on Fri, Sep 9, 2011, at 1:36 PM



To all others,

Don't you see? People kept saying "We need more jobs in Marshall" and "when is the council going to do something to attract new jobs to Marshall?"

Then what the mayor heard was "'Job', so the people want more Job?, well, heck, Jobs' right here in the bible."

So this is the first step in the plan to stimulate growth in Marshall, posting the mission statement for all to see.

For me, I see the logic applied. We're going to have to trust God to create these opportunities because the council, mayor, and administrator aren't going to get far.

-- Posted by Smart Dog on Fri, Sep 9, 2011, at 12:03 PM

mtownresident: People might have attended the council meeting if they had known in advance that the resolution involving the new sign would be considered that evening. Plainly, some people DID know, since there was an appreciative group on hand, according to the article, and it appears they were members of the mayor's church.

Not all the objections to this action are based on what the new verbiage represents - they are based on the fact that it was accomplished without PRIOR approval of it by the council, and the absence (still) of information on what it cost to purchase and install it, and who paid for it.

-- Posted by Miss Marple on Fri, Sep 9, 2011, at 11:48 AM

Everyone being at a council meeting is not only impossible, it is impractical. We shouldn't have to be at every meeting to hold thier hand. We expect them to do the right thing regardless of who is there.

-- Posted by What the f...... on Fri, Sep 9, 2011, at 8:35 AM

I'm sure everyone on here complaining was at the council meeting and voiced their concerns. What? You guys weren't there? Huh.

-- Posted by mtownresident on Fri, Sep 9, 2011, at 8:32 AM


What you fail to understand is that this is not a privately owned building. These are government offices and this is one man's personal statement.

The council didn't even have a chance to vote on it or officially appropriate the funds. They mayor just did it on his own. I have spoken with a councilman and that is what I was told. It is not speculation on my part.

-- Posted by What the f...... on Fri, Sep 9, 2011, at 7:05 AM

So let me see if I got this right?? You are worried about In God We Trust being a motto? You don't like it posted? Then close your eyes and walk on! If you can't see or understand that as Americans, as Gods children he took and has taken alot for us. Our military (God Bless them!)(Should I have not said that? Do you not like that?) WHO CARES? are proud to say In God We Trust, our other states are proud to show in public places that In God We Trust. Take the time research what places throughout the US present this motto.... Our Motto. Once again God Bless our troops, our families, our lives.

-- Posted by Zig on Fri, Sep 9, 2011, at 12:47 AM

The motto is an unnecessary expense and it serves no purpose.

-- Posted by izaak on Thu, Sep 8, 2011, at 10:36 PM

what the f and miss marple,

You both make valid points and glad you guys pointed those things out. The question I have is doesnt the mayor have his own church? What if the mayor was muslim would more people have problems with this?

Another point some seem to be missing is doesnt the article say the budget shows a $87,000 deficit. Doesnt that matter that they are wasting money puting anything on the wall not to mention the time.

I would suggest the mayor find better things to do than putting motto's up on the wall and the council find better things to discuss than moving Halloween and if not this will be one person that wont forget come eletion time.

-- Posted by cheesehead on Thu, Sep 8, 2011, at 5:52 PM

Dear Mr. Mayor,

If you want to take it upon yourself to put motto's on the council chambers, maybe you should instead consider "E pluribus unum" or "Out of many,one"

It's seems heckuva alot less exculsionary and even less like such a blatant personal statement.

BTW, it's too bad you couldn't have fit even bigger letters up there, isn't it?

-- Posted by What the f...... on Thu, Sep 8, 2011, at 3:36 PM

What a great thing to have on any public, city or county building..Our Nations Motto!!! Love it.

Would you complain if it was displayed in our courthouse? Oh well...such is life, I'm a Jesus Freak and love him whole hearted!

-- Posted by sotweet on Thu, Sep 8, 2011, at 11:10 AM

Hey, mrxray - You refer often to liberals throwing out the race card or the religion card. I don't think you know who a liberal is, based on their comments here. You can only guess, or surmise, or speculate, or suppose, and you are as likely to be wrong as to be right. What I'd suggest is that you stop throwing the liberal card.

I'm interested in just a couple of things regarding this little adventure into the boundaries of the Constitution and what it says or does not say. How much did this cost and who paid for it? How is it that this was approved by the council only AFTER it was already done? These are the only bits of information that have any relevance, particularly in light of the DEFICIT budget proposed for the city for 2011-2012.

-- Posted by Miss Marple on Thu, Sep 8, 2011, at 10:26 AM

guess i didnt read the halloween part too good...at alL!!!!!!! moving it to a sunday..thats still a school night..and AFTERNOON? heck no! who wants to trick or treat in the daylight hours!!! that takes ALL the fun out of it! reading this a little better has changed my mind...LEAVE HALLOWEEN ALONE!

-- Posted by paycloseattention on Thu, Sep 8, 2011, at 9:40 AM

The problem that I have with the motto is that to be added now, after all this time and to be sized as large as the "Council Chambers", to me this smells like a personal stateement by someone.

-- Posted by What the f...... on Thu, Sep 8, 2011, at 8:53 AM


The participation of religious people in government processes is not mandated by the principle of freedom of religion per se...I suppose if your particular religion dictates participation in public government processes then perhaps you could say that your are mandated as such. Rather, the principle of freedom of religion is the freedom to choose to believe or not believe and to practice said beliefs as your conscience dictates. Participation by citizens in governance is part and parcel of our civic duty as American citizens and should be practiced by all, religious or not.

While I appreciate your history lesson on the use of public buildings for religious purposes I'm not really clear as to how it is relevant to the discussion. No one to my knowledge has denied this history. Certainly over the years the public commons has been put to many uses especially during times when buildings were expensive undertakings and were fewer in number. However, today most religious organizations have their own facilities and there is little need for them to carry out their religious practices in public buildings.

You again make the following statement: "Many founders stated that the "Great Experiment" that was the US Constitution of citizens ruling the government HAD TO BE based on people with high morals, ethics and religious standings in order for the government to avoid corruption and the like." with an emphasis on had to be. Again some specific citations would be most helpful.

You also state, "The idea that we cannot have ANY religious symbol or entity involved with our government is a concept that was developed as a means for the spread of communism." I'll reiterate, I have not proposed that we must eliminate any and all symbols of religion from public life nor prohibit the participation of the religious in governance. As to what this has to do with the spread of communism I haven't a clue.

However, the wall of separation of church and state is both necessary and prudent to protect the freedoms we all value and to the degree that the use of any religious symbol introduced into public buildings promotes the establishment of a religion it must be resisted with utmost urgency and determination. Otherwise we are at risk of falling back into the morass of tyranny that existed when men believed they had the god given right to rule over others...government is by the consent of the governed not by the grace of god!

As I have not expressed anything of my feelings about the motto your inference that I hate it is a bit off the mark. Further, your deduction that I must hate money is incorrect as well hence I feel no need to boycott money at this time. :-)

-- Posted by Clear Head on Thu, Sep 8, 2011, at 3:22 AM


Wow! Where to start? You seem to imply that only religious people are ethical and moral or that religion is required to be ethical and/or moral. I don't see either of these as being the case. The issues of ethics and morality are separate and distinct from religion. There are many instances of non-believers who act ethically and morally without the benefit of any threatening deity to goad them along in these behaviors while the media is rife with instances of religious people acting immorally and unethically.

You have asserted that many of the founding fathers used the term "religious" character when describing the type of persons we need in leadership positions...I'd be interested to which ones you are referring? Some specific citations would be helpful in evaluating the validity of your statement.

None or very few of the founding fathers were atheists to my knowledge rather most of them were deists and they were men of the enlightenment. They were certainly principled and believed deeply in the work they were doing in establishing a form of government that would work without the tyranny and excesses of the governments of the day. As such they had high expectations of those they thought should be leading this country. Hence the focus on men with solid public morals and high ethics. They were very deliberate in their approach to the question of religion and wrote into the constitution (Article 6, the last sentence) that "...no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States." Now this does not mean that religious people can't serve; it simply means that no profession of faith is required in order to serve.

I have not advocated legislating away any rights on the part of those who practice religion. What I have actually focused on is existing laws and their application to specific matters in question to determine whether or not certain individuals have overstepped their bounds. We must be ever vigilant and guard the fundamental freedoms that have been established by the founding fathers in the constitution from both external and internal threat.

I am quite puzzled by your statement that you "cannot have freedom of religion if the liberal left is always bashing me because I am religious." What do you care what anybody thinks about your practice of religion? It is between you and your god. While bashing religion may be a past time of those with certain political leanings I don't see how what they say or what anybody says about religion prevents you from exercising your freedom to believe. Are you ready to deny others the right to protected speech while exercising the very same yourself to bash those who would bash religion?

-- Posted by Clear Head on Thu, Sep 8, 2011, at 2:43 AM

Clear head... you are not really clear headed.. Many or most founders and leaders of our revolution KNEW that tyranny and dictators and kings or queens all removed freedoms that humans have the right to. They stated over and over that in order for our "New" form of government to exist and be a success then it would be MANDATORY to have elected people who were of high moral and ethical character and many of the founders used the term "religious" character.

IF you think that the US of A should have the freedom to practice religion without government interference or without a government mandated denomination, then you are contradicting that very freedom when you attempt to legislate any and all religious symbols or people OUT of the government. I cannot have freedom of religion if the liberal left is always bashing me because I am religious. In fact, every time a liberal candidate is in trouble in the polls what do they do? Find something like the race card or the religion card and attempt to belittle the opposing candidate based on these to FALSE arguments.

-- Posted by mrxray on Thu, Sep 8, 2011, at 1:07 AM

I find it funny that people do not truly understand the whole concept of separation of church and state... NO where did our founders state that absolutely no mention of or interaction of religion with state (Government) activities. In fact, the whole concept of "Freedom of religion" would MANDATE That religious people and entities interact with and participate in government affairs.

Even up until the early 1900s many towns shared government, or city, buildings with various and sometimes multiple religions, where the different religions each used the city/government buildings for their church services. Often they would rotate weekend or more often they would hold one different "religious type" of service one after another and many people would sit through some or all of them. Many founders stated that the "Great Experiment" that was the US Constitution of citizens ruling the government HAD TO BE based on people with high morals, ethics and religious standings in order for the government to avoid corruption and the like.

The idea that we cannot have ANY religious symbol or entity involved with our government is a concept that was developed as a means for the spread of communism. You can research that.

Now the liberal left seems to be scared of religion for some reason.

And more than being scared of it, religion is used as another type of "scare tactic" that they are so found of using... like the whole race care, where we are accused of being racist because we "dare" disagree with the first partly black POTUS. When they are at the end of their calm and civil discussion and are finding that the majority of people do not agree with the liberal left, big government involved in every aspect of our lives, they have only one thing to do... use the race card or the religion card.

-- Posted by mrxray on Thu, Sep 8, 2011, at 1:01 AM

so... if you hate the motto then you must hate the dollar bill but I dont see you protesting that... or boycotting money... lol

-- Posted by mrxray on Thu, Sep 8, 2011, at 12:51 AM

Who says Halloween is just for children?? I love building props and decorating my home haunt! I look forward to it every year. What's wrong with staying out late trick or treating? Part of the fun was to see who could get the most candy/treats. Finding the scariest houses was part of the fun as well. There is already a decline in trick or treaters since it appears to be a local business sponsored "holiday". I for one look forward to kids of ALL ages ringing my doorbell! Regulating Halloween...how ridiculous. Pfft

-- Posted by silver star on Wed, Sep 7, 2011, at 10:32 PM

Our country has always been a religious group of people, In God We Trust is on our money and most things we touch...It has only recently been in question when our socity has decided they do not believe in anything. Most of the people who want it gone have no clue what it even means or who God is..I once heard a quote that said what would you loose if you beleived. If at the end times it was true then you were ready and if at the end times it was not true then what did you loose for living your life this way. In God We Trust, who else do we have??

As for the halloween thing, leave it alone, its Oct 31st not Oct 30. Our police chief needs something to do if this is his biggest worry.


-- Posted by drop555 on Wed, Sep 7, 2011, at 7:52 PM

There's a reason I asked how much it cost to hang "In God We Trust" on the entrance to the council chambers and here it is, direct from the story above: "A proposed budget for 2011-2012 shows a deficit of $87,156."

I'm hoping we can get an answer to this question very soon.

-- Posted by Miss Marple on Wed, Sep 7, 2011, at 5:18 PM

There has been some silly stuff going on at City Hall, hasn't there. This "In God We Trust" is something I am going to leave alone for now. It seems to me there is a violation of Church-State thing here. The allegation the words are merely a "motto" is suspect. I do not support this but it appears my representatives on the Council do. Silly, just silly.

A permit for 50 or more at a gathering at the park is silly, just plain silly. I guess I better have my annual family thing at Arrow Rock, or somewhere. I certainly don't plan to go apply for a permit just to get my family together. I think the City Council better back water on this one and rescind the requirement. Silly, just silly.

Halloween. It is what it is and what it has been for many years. It is not a holiday. It is a pagan thing and it surprises me various churches seem to recognize the day judging by various gatherings of the faith (primarily adult supervised kids) for a Halloween party. I strongly urge the City Council to restrain themselves trying to regulate Halloween. It will be a futile effort on their part. Silly, just silly.

-- Posted by red dog on Wed, Sep 7, 2011, at 4:20 PM

you know anohter high volume call day for the poor worn out MPD, the 4th of July. So if we are moving Halloween than it's only logical we move the 4th to allow them to relax more at night. So lets just have that on a Sunday, make sure it's during the daylight hours too, for safety of courrse. Just like spooky houses and kids trying to scare each other will clearly be just as spooky and creepy in the daylight fireworks will also be just as pretty and exciting in mid-day! How stupid is this, i mean really can anyone give me one logical good reason for this??

-- Posted by oldschool17 on Wed, Sep 7, 2011, at 4:08 PM

Well, Clear Head, let me be the first to explain to you that well reasoned and logical arguments have no place, either in the Democrat News comments section, or in America in the 21st Century.

Don't you realize that all our problems in society today are because not enough people are worshiping God? I mean look at all the natural disasters that Michelle Bachmann made God cause.

Additionally, all of our laws should be based on conclusions drawn by interpreting a collection of fables rewritten over generations by those seeking to control the great unwashed masses and define the contemporary definition of morality while maintaining a devine right to rule and therefore superiority over the unsaved.

Sheesh, bud, get with the program.

-- Posted by Smart Dog on Wed, Sep 7, 2011, at 3:07 PM

Thank you Clear Head. That's exactly what I meant to say.

-- Posted by What the f...... on Wed, Sep 7, 2011, at 2:55 PM


In what sense can America be called a Christian nation? Not in the sense that Christianity is the established religion or that the people are in any manner compelled to support it. On the contrary, the Constitution specifically provides that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." Neither is it Christian in the sense that all its citizens are either in fact or name Christians. On the contrary, all religions have free scope within our borders. Numbers of our people profess other religions, and many reject all. Nor is it Christian in the sense that a profession of Christianity is a condition of holding office or otherwise engaging in public service, or essential to recognition either politically or socially. In fact, the government as a legal organization is independent of all religions. So, I ask again in what sense is the country a Christian nation?

While the Declaration of Independence is not a governing document it did express the opinion of the founding fathers that the power of government is derived from the governed and not by some god granted right to a king. This of course was a radical departure from the prevailing idea that the power to rule over other people comes from god. It is this abandonment of the idea that the authority to rule is granted by god that paved the way for a more perfect union. No longer were the services of a priest or diviner required to determine who would be king or president or ruler but rather the decision would be made by those who are governed with no appeal to any higher authority than those governed. It is this fundamental truth as enshrined in the constitution (a godless document), the document of government that this nation is founded on.

I for one shudder at the thought that there are those who would happily destroy this foundation by replacing the will of the people with the will of a deity (who can know the mind of a god?) and thus returning us to the old tyranny that provoked the American Revolution in the first place. In fact, it seems to me that a case could be made that anyone who claims to answer to a higher power in matters of government or makes an appeal to a higher authority than to that acknowledged in the constitution is perilously close to treason.

-- Posted by Clear Head on Wed, Sep 7, 2011, at 2:06 PM

"In addition, the city approved requiring park gatherings of 50 or more people to apply for a permit with the Marshall Parks and Recreation Department."

Will it cost anything to get this permit?

If not why do it?

Will the college have to get a permit to have baseball games at the part?

How about the hospital will they have to have a permit for their golf event?

How about the disc golfers will they have to have a permit for their events?

Hey how about the park director he has an event at the park every year will he have to have a permit?

Or is it just tax payers for picnics and birthday parties?

Leave Halloween alone!!!!!!!!!

WTF said "So we got by just fine without the motto up until now? Why the sudden need?

That's easy our mayor wants to push religion.

I too would like to know where the money came from?

-- Posted by parkuser on Wed, Sep 7, 2011, at 2:00 PM

Outsider...apologies, not my intent to misquote

-- Posted by Clear Head on Wed, Sep 7, 2011, at 1:11 PM


You didn't read my entire post. I just copied and pasted that link. It was WTF who orginally posted it.

I completely agree with you!!

-- Posted by Jessa on Wed, Sep 7, 2011, at 12:25 PM


Your link didnt work!

-- Posted by cheesehead on Wed, Sep 7, 2011, at 12:17 PM


Who cares what the Police chief thinks about Halloween and council should all be voted out for entertaining such authortarian ideas.

I'm very grateful to the MDN for reporting on this and shame on the mayor, the council, and the Marshall police chief. We should replace them all!

-- Posted by cheesehead on Wed, Sep 7, 2011, at 12:16 PM

I hope this motto was paid for out of the mayor's own pockets.

-- Posted by cheesehead on Wed, Sep 7, 2011, at 12:11 PM

This is nonsense what a way to waste taxpayer money on a money next maybe they can use taxpayer money and put up a statue of Jesus. Dont they have better things to do than worry about motto's.

-- Posted by cheesehead on Wed, Sep 7, 2011, at 12:10 PM

Couple of questions I haven't seen addressed:

1) How is it that the "national motto" was purchased and installed BEFORE the city council passed a resolution?

2) How much did it cost, including installation?

3) Who paid for it?

-- Posted by Miss Marple on Wed, Sep 7, 2011, at 12:07 PM

If anyone else has a problem with this Halloween nonsense, let your councilman know about it here:


Thanks for the information but I am almost positive they see this and they know it is a ridiculous thing to do.

And, I one more question.Is it a city ordinance that kids can no longer "cruise" the strip?? I was told that if officers see a specific car on the strip several times they can ticket them. that is the most retarded thing I have ever heard.

-- Posted by Jessa on Wed, Sep 7, 2011, at 12:03 PM

Dear City Council Members,

I need you to change the date of Thanksgiving. Thursdays are a very inconvenient day for me to celebrate. As a matter of fact, please look into changing Christmas & Easter, too. Sundays, between the hours of 4pm - 8pm would be most appropriate.


Dumbfounded Citizen

-- Posted by born-n-raised on Wed, Sep 7, 2011, at 11:20 AM

clear head....I didn't say anything about it being our "official" motto. I just said it was "a" motto....which it is...and a fairly common one. Feel free to quote me, but try to do so in an accurate manner.

-- Posted by outsider on Wed, Sep 7, 2011, at 10:03 AM

One fun thing here is the blend of Halloween and God. The same folks that decided we need more God in the public forum spent time debating moving the celebration of the 'dark' holiday to Sunday, the sabboth. So much so that it will get some discussion again at the next meeting. I reckon some of the new will have worn off the motto by then.

It's funny that we chose this motto for public display. When I was a kid I was told that the reason that "In God We Trust" was on our money was "because we hope God will give the government the resources to back this up."

For me, the subtle brainwashing of an official religous slogan loses some impact in light of all the fun implications it creates.

In God We Trust, all others pay cash!

In God We Trust, but we can't trust each other!

In God We Trust ('cause these yahoos ain't gonna get it done).

Or to steal an even funnier joke-

"There's a phrase we live by in America: "In God We Trust". It's right there where Jesus would want it: on our money." - Stephen Colbert

...and above the Marshall City Council Chambers.

-- Posted by Smart Dog on Wed, Sep 7, 2011, at 9:12 AM

If anyone else has a problem with this Halloween nonsense, let your councilman know about it here:


-- Posted by What the f...... on Wed, Sep 7, 2011, at 8:42 AM


Where specifically does it state we are a "Christian Nation"? Where is it actually written? I would like to know.

Much like what's in the bible, simply making a claim does not constitute any real truth.

If folks think it's ok to inject religion into government then the church should lose it's tax exempt status. They should not have it both ways.

-- Posted by What the f...... on Wed, Sep 7, 2011, at 8:13 AM

Ok the motto is just words on a wall and means nothing. If your churchy than you think it's pretty sweet, if you not you think its over the top. But really it doesn't change or effect anything one bit.

The Halloween thing really ticks me off. It's freaking Halloween, adults need to grow up and quit being such babies. Just let the kids go trick or treating on Halloween itself like we have for decades!! It's not like kids are out until 2am, when i was a kid i was home and in bed by 9:30, and now the last kid i pass out candy too last year was at 8:15! So being late means nothing, and i agree with others who have said whats the difference if this is on any other day? Oh and Sunday is still a school night geniouses! Your only a kid once people, we all got to enjoy it so why on earth would you want to deprive your kids of that joy? What so your nights are easier, stop being so darn selfish!!

-- Posted by oldschool17 on Wed, Sep 7, 2011, at 8:07 AM

We always have Halloween ON Halloween here, but the city does set the time for trick-or-treating to be from, I think 4-7 or 5-7. Most of the areas around here do that, while keeping Halloween celebrations on the actual day.

I used to live near Milwaukee, where trick-or-treating was always on a Saturday or Sunday, and from like 12-3 in the afternoon. It was awful. I'm sorry, it just doesn't feel like Halloween unless you get a little bit of sundown and dark in there! And certainly, having it in the afternoon did nothing to stop the older kids from trick-or-treating.

-- Posted by koeller77 on Wed, Sep 7, 2011, at 8:04 AM

Displaying the motto is a good thing. The American Flag in the chamber is a good thing. What is wrong with people. I've seen flags in churches. They are not too proud to show their patriotism. In God We Trust....think about it. Any God you want.

-- Posted by Pasta on Wed, Sep 7, 2011, at 7:55 AM

The words "IN GOD WE TRUST" is great, thanks to those who did this. we are a Christian nation and we should be proud of it. Many people have served our country to keep it free, and I am proud to be a Christian, and not afraid to stand up for what I believe. Good job!!

let us remember that we are one nation under God, with one flag and one language. God Bless America!!

-- Posted by saline on Wed, Sep 7, 2011, at 6:51 AM

Clear Head.

Excellent post with excellent points. I would also be interested to know who introduced the resolution as well.

-- Posted by What the f...... on Wed, Sep 7, 2011, at 5:26 AM

A couple of points...

Outsider, "In god we trust" has not always been our official motto, in fact it was not adopted by congress as our official motto until 1956 by the 84th Congress (Public Law 84-851).

WTF questions the motives of the mayor with respect to the putting of the motto on the City Hall since we have made do quite well without until now...why now? Was the resolution passed simply an expression of patriotism, or was it motivated by the need to express some religious ideology? While some may find this to be splitting hairs it is actually quite relevant to the discussion of whether or not this is simply an innocent expression of patriotism or an attempt to establish religion.

If one examines the case law on challenges to the use of the motto on money and in displays on public buildings, etc. it is the very fact that the phrase has lost any significant religious content that it has been allowed to stand as not being a violation of the establishment of religion clause and the separation of church and state. It would seem to me that if the intent of the resolution was to endorse a religious view of the idea that patriotic expression necessarily requires a belief and reliance on god then it would seem to me that a violation of the establishment clause case may be made in this particular instance. I have not read the resolution nor can I find it online so I cannot say for certain without additional information. It seems worthwhile to consider the motivation and content of the resolution to better understand the intent of those who passed it in order to make a determination.

Finally, the article quotes the mayor as saying that he had checked with the US and Missouri Supreme Courts and the Court of Appeals and that they had indicated that it is a motto and that since it is an official motto it can be put into any public building. I find this to be an extraordinary claim on the part of the mayor. I'd be interested in just exactly how he checked with the cited institutions and with whom given that these institutions are not always readily accessible for such consultations. Being from Missouri, the "show me" state I am quite eager to hear how this consultation was carried out.

-- Posted by Clear Head on Wed, Sep 7, 2011, at 2:24 AM

Shhh. The thought police may be on duty.

-- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Wed, Sep 7, 2011, at 12:43 AM

Leave Halloween alone. Have there really been that many problems? Officers safety??? Oh brother. This over-legislation thing is getting ridiculous.

As for the motto...it's always been a US motto and I think it's fine on public buildings..or most anywhere for that matter. From an asthetics standpoint, this one could maybe have been a little smaller though.

-- Posted by outsider on Tue, Sep 6, 2011, at 9:20 PM

When the goverment starts suggesting things you should do or dictate what your are to do..You are no longer in a free society. The govt. is not the parents to my kids I am.

-- Posted by Jason1969 on Tue, Sep 6, 2011, at 9:19 PM


I agree with your idea but how could it be enforced?? We, the parents, can take that into our own hands. I just don't like the idea of the city telling me or my children when we are "allowed" to celebrate.

-- Posted by Jessa on Tue, Sep 6, 2011, at 8:58 PM

Obnoxiously large motto actually. I'm guessing if they could it would have been on top of council chambers.

-- Posted by What the f...... on Tue, Sep 6, 2011, at 8:57 PM


The mayor is a preacher so I guess it should be no surprise they find the need to add the motto now, a comically large motto I might add.

-- Posted by What the f...... on Tue, Sep 6, 2011, at 8:55 PM

I peronally don't think changing the day the kids celebrate Halloween is going to change anything. How can it be any safer on one day or more dangerous on the next?? Makes no sense to me. Just the city wanting even more control over yet another holiday.

-- Posted by Jessa on Tue, Sep 6, 2011, at 8:54 PM

Let's keep Halloween on Halloween and pass a resolution that ends it earlier in the evening, say 7pm?

-- Posted by mama11 on Tue, Sep 6, 2011, at 8:52 PM

LOVE the idea of having halloween earlier! We were saying last yr at halloween how we wish we could get it at an earlier time and on a weekend rather than late and on a school night so we can enjoy it and not have to rush around. Hope this goes through for the safety of the children!

-- Posted by paycloseattention on Tue, Sep 6, 2011, at 8:34 PM

lol... what the f.... I have a different take. I think that the motto is fine and if someone wanted to post it or hang it or create a sign in the sky with that message, then that is fine and dandy and so be it.... NOT ONE of any type of message such as this will EVER cause someone harm. The best part is that someone automatically will start crying about how they feel discriminated against because they dont believe in God.

I do take issue with what you say in this aspect.... you state that it does not matter to you but by making the statement you did it comes across as if YOU are the one with the problem with any religious symbol

-- Posted by mrxray on Tue, Sep 6, 2011, at 7:39 PM

So we got by just fine without the motto up until now? Why the sudden need?

Personally, I guess I don't care either way except for some who will undoubtedly feel some sort of smug satisfaction by keeping a religious foothold in our government.

On second thought, maybe I do object.

-- Posted by What the f...... on Tue, Sep 6, 2011, at 7:27 PM

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