August 2004 – Patti Cox-Morton, of Tulsa, Oklahoma, is an individual continually seeking spiritual renewal for America. Her desire for renewal stemmed from the front cover of the AFA Journal (August, 2001) that introduced a campaign to place America’s national motto, “In God We Trust,” in all classrooms around the country.
“It was kind of piercing,” she said.
However, the piercing was easily numbed by fear and complacency causing her to procrastinate until the tragic happenings of 9/11 moved her to action.
Cox-Morton then began campaigning for the placement of the national motto in all Oklahoma classrooms. Her initial efforts seemed easy, but time brought its challenges as she continually sought to speak with the superintendent of her target school district. The initial results were discouraging.
“I had no more started this project than I found myself angry and wanting to quit,” she said.
However, her spirit was lifted two days later when she received an unexpected phone call from the superintendent. Not only did the superintendent agree to accept the 650 posters Cox-Morton offered to give the district, he asked for a total of 800 posters and wanted her to deliver them, personally. Although willing to cooperate with her efforts, the superintendent questioned her motives.
“What is in it for you?” he asked.
“I told him nothing. It is a very patriotic thing for me.
“… [But] it’s not just a campaign. This is the living God that we are talking about. This is what I want our children to know,” she later commented.
Cox-Morton believes it is the responsibility of every Christian to take action, despite any opposition.
For Cox-Morton, opposition came when state Senator Penny Williams refused to allow bills relating to the motto to be heard in her committee through three legislative sessions.
“But God, the majesty of heaven, had other ideas,” she said.
Through the help of American Family Association, AFA supporter Pam Humphreys, and Humphreys’ willing state Senator Charlie Lassiter, the “In God We Trust” bill was attached to a Reading Sufficiency Act. After its attachment, the bill passed and was signed into law May 4, 2004, by Oklahoma Governor Brad Henry, making Oklahoma the eighteenth state to “either mandate or highly encourage the posting of our national motto, ‘In God We Trust,’ ” Cox-Morton said.
Thus far, the motto has been placed in nearly 6,000 classrooms in the northeast corner of Oklahoma with the majority of these posters being placed prior to the passage of the bill due to the cooperation of principals and superintendents.
“It [the first school] led the charge” that continues as Cox-Morton leads Oklahomans for Patriotic Values, a non-profit organization formed as a result of the campaign, to continue posting the motto throughout the state.
“God can champion the cause,” she said, as an encouragement to others who desire spiritual renewal for this nation.
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