The Freedom From Religion Foundation has chosen Kate Benton and Marilyn Buente as winners of its Kentucky ‘In God We (Don’t) Trust’ Student Art Contest, and each received $250 as collaborators on the winning entry.
The contest was part of an FFRF campaign to combat Kentucky’s new law requiring “In God We Trust” to be displayed in every public school. The Kentucky law specifically states that “In God We Trust” displays may be in the form of “student artwork,” opening the door for clever student artists to create art displays that conform to the law’s text but not its intent, says FFRF.
Benton, 17, and Buente, 16, both juniors in high school, collaborated to design and illustrate the winning artwork. Both share a passion for activism, media, photo and film.
Benton writes: “I also have a reflection on my reaction to the law: As a Christian, many people thought I would support the law. However, it was quite the opposite. As soon as I heard about it, I immediately wondered: what about everyone else?”
FFRF also awarded a $200 honorable mention to Eli Moossy of Georgetown, Ky.
“My name is Eli Moossy, and I’m in the 7th grade at Scott County Middle School in Georgetown, Ky. I am interested in computer programming, architecture and engineering. I also enjoy drawing and identify as an atheist, so that’s why I wanted to participate in this contest. I have gone to many Georgetown Fairness rallies and pride events. I enjoy being an activist.”
The contest was open to any student enrolled in a Kentucky public school who disagrees with the new law. The contest stipulated that artwork must contain the phrase “In God We Trust,” but must either protest the motto, subvert the religious intent of the new law or otherwise show why “In God We Trust” is not an appropriate motto to place in a public school.
Each winner also received a “clean,” pre-“In God We Trust” $1 bill.