UPDATE: Freeport Library will not have "In God We Trust" on its building

Updated July 11, 2018 8:49 p.m.

UPDATE: FREEPORT, Ill. (WIFR) -- After a spirited meeting, the Freeport Library Board decided to not put the words "In God We Trust" on the library building.

Freeport's city council already decided last year to put the phrase on city buildings and public safety vehicles, however, Freeport's Library Board was not part of making that decision. It asked the city to wait for the board to approve the change before moving forward.

Tonight five people spoke in favor of the phrase being added to the building while 20 spoke against it. Eight people also wrote letters of support while 27 wrote letters against.

The Freeport Library Board voted 5 to 4 to not put the motto on the library. They will now discuss the possibility of putting a plaque inside the library with the history of the phrase "In God We Trust."


FREEPORT, Ill. (WIFR) -- "In God, We Trust" is commonly found printed on our dollar bills and can now be found on patrol cars and buildings in Freeport, but there is one last building that phrase could be added to, and some aren't happy about it.

The Freeport Public Library is next on the list to receive the words "In God We Trust."

Several buildings were stamped with the slogan earlier this year, but not everyone thinks it should be on the library.

Senior pastor of St. John United Church of Christ, Hank Fairman, says you do not need to believe in God to use the library.

"The use of the motto on this building is a challenge because it seems to put a proof texting statement out that you have to believe in God to walk through the doors to be part of the community of knowledge that is exchanged inside," said Fairman.

"The board has many, many voices who are talking about a lot of things and I just encourage the board members to remember that that is what we are here for just to advance the mission of the library and so really that is how they should look at this topic whether or not this does advance the mission of the library and their perspective or not," said Freeport Library Board Executive Director Emily Klonicki.

The board will vote tonight to decide if the statement will be placed on the Freeport Public Library building.

The library could fall under what's considered a "city building", but the library board still has jurisdiction over what happens to the building and should have been contacted.