A California City Council has voted unanimously to place the phrase “In God We Trust” in its chambers.
Anaheim officials agreed this past Tuesday to insert the phrase in gold or black lettering over the city seal, and to set up a fund so that private donations could cover the cost. Anaheim is the seventeenth city in Orange County to do so, while 373 other cities and counties nationwide have passed similar resolutions.
With the continuing resurgence of the motto, combined with a 2003 USA Today, CNN and Gallup Poll affirming that over 90% of the public approves of the phrase on currency, some may wonder what “In God We Trust” means to Americans.
“It is a matter of patriotism,” said Anaheim Councilwoman Gail Eastman. “It’s part of what America means to us.”
However, Rusty Lee Thomas, the director of Elijah Ministries and author of the Kingdom Leadership Institute Manual, believes that the phrase should go even deeper.
“It points to the origins and the development of our great nation,” he stated.
Thomas outlined that he believes that perhaps the motto’s usage is increasing because some communities are beginning to realize their need for God in light of the nation’s continuing moral decline. He explained that what began four decades ago with the removal of God within our schools and our government was the beginning of what many communities are paying for now in the form of “unprecedented violence and perversion.”
“Our government has gone to great lengths to purge and remove every vestige of the knowledge of God from the public life of our nation. Perhaps, these cities recognize the obvious,” he said. “Life does not work apart from God. Our systems of men are failing due to the fact we have removed the basis for their firm support, which hearkens back to ‘In God We Trust.’”
The phrase “In God We Trust” likely originated during the War of 1812. Years later, with the increased emphasis on religion during the Civil War, a campaign was launched by Christian denominations to place the motto on United States Coins. In 1864, legislators approved placing it on one and two cent coins. Since 1938, all United States coins have borne the phrase. It has been the national motto since 1956, and Congress has reaffirmed this several times, including a resolution in 2011 by the House of Representatives.