Oklahoma could soon have the national motto "In God We Trust" displayed in all 342 state buildings.
The bill by House Speaker Charles McCall that advanced in the House Rules Committee 6-1 Tuesday is fiercely opposed by American Atheists, which says it weakens the separation of religion and government.
“It sends the harmful message to atheists, agnostics, Buddhists, Hindus and other polytheists that they are unwelcome in Oklahoma," American Atheists Oklahoma State Director Tim Ward said in a statement.
Roger Byron, senior counsel to First Liberty Institute--the group that successfully defended the Bladensburg Peace Cross at the Supreme Court--disagrees.
“Despite the claims of the perpetually offended, there are few things in our country today more unifying across the cultural and political spectrum than our national motto," Byron told Fox News. "During a time of confusion and division in our nation, the Oklahoma House is right to provide a visible reminder of a common state and national heritage.”
A similar bill in Kansas would also require public schools to post the national motto, but the bill in Oklahoma specifically excludes school buildings.
Displaying the signs at all Oklahoma state buildings is expected to cost taxpayers more than $85,000 according to a fiscal analysis.
The bill heads to the full House floor, and if signed into law, will take effect on Nov. 1.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.