Or Joe & Cathy’s Ungodly Patriotism
By John Earl
OC Voice Editor
“Yes! Yes! Yes! Congratulations, you guys down there,” Bakersfield City Councilmember, Jacquie Sullivan, said over the phone when reached by the OC Voice.
She must have been smiling from ear to ear, just like Jan Crouch on Trinity Broadcasting Network, when she rejoiced, in her bouncy Bakersfield country-style voice, “I just heard about it, that’s very exciting news.”
Sullivan is the founder of In God We Trust – America Inc., a non profit 503c3 organization formed in 2002 “To promote patriotism by encouraging elected city officials to display our national motto ‘In God We Trust’ in every city hall in America.”
She was talking about the April 7 vote by the Huntington Beach City Council to make “In God We Trust” the city’s new motto to be hung in the council chambers.
The council debate preceding the vote was a sectarian skirmish, ill-timed for Mayor Debbie Cook, a democrat, who wants to replace republican incumbent Dana Rohrabacher next November to represent the 46th Congressional District,* where God and country are a normal part of political discourse and decision making.
In 2002, during her first one-year term as mayor (councilmembers rotate yearly to fill the position), Cook respected God and Country by keeping the two separate, as many believe that America’s most authoritative guide to law and order-the U.S. Constitution-requires elected officials to do-by not holding city sanctioned invocations.
Since starting her current term as mayor, however, Cook has followed tradition and the invocation is part of the city council’s official routine.
Cook, who told the Voice in a March interview that “I don’t talk about religion,” bristled when asked then if her change of heart had anything to do with her campaign for congress. “No! The Constitution has a prohibition against religious tests…So what was the next question you’re asking me,” she snapped.