Federal Court Dismisses Effort to Have ‘In God We Trust’ Removed From U.S. Currency

Money Motto pdAKRON, Ohio — A federal court has again dismissed an atheist’s effort to have the phrase “In God We Trust” removed from U.S. currency.

“Plaintiffs cannot demonstrate that the use of the motto on currency substantially burdens their religious exercise,” Judge Benita Pearson, appointed to the bench by Barack Obama, ruled on Wednesday.

“No reasonable viewer would think a person handling money does so to spread its religious message,” she said. “A person does not own the bills and coins printed by the United States Treasury. The government does not require citizens to display money. Money does not exist for the express purpose that it be observed and read by the public.”

As previously reported, atheist Michael Newdow, who has filed numerous suits challenging the mixture of God and government, first submitted a complaint in the Southern District of New York in March 2013, asserting that the motto violates the Establishment Clause of the United States Constitution as it serves to proselytize unbelievers.

But in September of that year, U.S. District Court Judge Harold Baer, Jr., nominated by Bill Clinton, rejected Newdow’s arguments, opining that “the inclusion of the motto on U.S. currency . . . does not violate the Establishment Clause [of the Constitution].”

He consequently appealed his case to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan, but in May 2014, the court likewise ruled against the prominent atheist.

“The Supreme Court has recognized in a number of its cases that the motto, and its inclusion in the design of U.S. currency, is a ‘reference to our religious heritage,’” it wrote. “We therefore hold, in line with the Supreme Court’s dicta, that [the motto appearing on currency does] not violate the Establishment Clause.”

  • Connect with Christian News

Newdow soon began seeking plaintiffs to challenge the motto from a different angle—the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) signed in the 1990s by then-President Bill Clinton. He filed a new suit featuring 43 plaintiffs, with nine of them being children.

“When [the child] is confronted with ‘In G-d We Trust’ on every coin and currency bill she handles or learns about in school, the power and prestige of the federal government is brought to bear upon her with the message that her father’s (and her own) atheism is false,” the complaint read in part.

“Additionally, she is taught to carry and promote a religious message her father is teaching her to at least consider denying, and to also make a completely false declaration as to what is likely to be her own religious view on the matter of G-d’s existence,” it asserted.

But Pearson ruled that there are alternate means for the complainants to make payments if they do not like the national motto on money, and even in situations where that is not possible, the use of currency does not burden their free exercise of religion.

“Credit cards and checks allow Plaintiffs to conduct the bulk of their purchases with currency not inscribed with the motto,” she wrote. “And for cash-only transactions, such as a garage sale or a coin-operated laundromat, the use of the motto on currency does not substantially burden Plaintiffs’ free exercise.”

The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) had filed an amicus brief on behalf of 50 members of Congress, who urged the court to dismiss the suit. Participants included Reps. Joe Pitts of Pennsylvania, Tim Huelskamp of Kansas, John Fleming of Louisiana, Trent Franks of Arizona, Doug Lamborn of Colorado, Daniel Webster of Florida, Dan Newhouse of Washington and Robert Latta of Ohio.

“The national motto simply echoes the principle found in the Declaration of Independence that our freedoms come from God and not the state,” it read. “Plaintiffs ask this court to do exactly what the Supreme Court warned against in Zorach—prefer atheism over religion even to the extent of censoring the historical fact that the United States was founded upon a belief in God.”

As previously reported, the motto “In God We Trust” has appeared on U.S. coins since 1864 and began being printed on paper currency in 1957. The phrase is to believed to have originated with the Star Spangled Banner, written during the War of 1812, which declares, “And this be our motto: In God We Trust!”

Following a Civil War-era proposal from a number of pastors to the U.S. Treasury Department that God be acknowledged on American currency, Treasury Secretary Salmon P. Chase obliged and ordered that a design be created. Its inscription was first upheld by Congress in 1864, and then again in 1873 when Congress passed the Coinage Act, which specifically declared that the secretary “may cause the motto ‘In God We Trust’ to be inscribed on such coins as shall admit of such motto.”

In 1956, Congress passed a resolution making “In God We Trust” the national motto, which was again upheld by the U.S. House of Representatives in 2011 by a 396-9 vote.


A special message from the publisher...

Dear Reader, because of your generous support, we have received enough funds to send many audio Bibles to Iraqi and Syrian refugees displaced by ISIS in the Middle East. Many have been distributed and received with gladness. While we provide for the physical needs of the people, we seek to provide the eternal hope only found in Jesus Christ through the word of God. Would you join us by making a donation today to this important work? Please click here to send an audio Bible to a refugee family >>

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
  • TheBottomline4This

    “the motto “In God We Trust” has appeared on U.S. coins since 1864 and began being printed on paper currency in 1957.”

    The unbeliever’s think they can get rid of God. It’s interesting to watch them try to erase every speck of Him they can. The more they try and seem to succeed, the more it just shows how much satan really controls them.

    • TwoRutRoad

      Just be thankful that Satan is only having them use the legal system and other non-violent actions to achieve their goals. He must be a pretty mellow fellow.

      • TheBottomline4This

        lol, he can be mellow or vicious.

        • Royce E. Van Blaricome

          They will find out soon enough and quite very well just how mellow or vicious Satan can be.

    • Bezukhov

      So “In God you Trust”. Does He trust you?

  • mammy32

    Newdown get a life before satan drags you into the pit of hell and fire forever. Jesus hasn’t give up on you Yet!

    • Royce E. Van Blaricome

      And you know Jesus hasn’t given up on him yet, how? I suggest you be VERY careful assuming that you can speak for Jesus on things you have NO way of knowing is true or not. God does not look very well on that!! He alone is God. We can repeat what He has said and that is it!

      • Miss Chrissy Vee

        Every new morning that this man wakes up is another chance given by God Almighty to turn his life around and find truth. God is willing that none should perish. We can speak from knowledge, wisdom and discernment derived through prayer and his word. Do you honestly believe Jesus would give up on this man’s soul? mammy32 said nothing wrong.

        • Royce E. Van Blaricome

          Chrissy, you can’t say that. Only God can say that. God’s Word CLEARLY states that there comes a time when He will turn one over to a reprobate mind and there’s also coming a time when He is gonna send “strong delusion” so that they will believe a lie and cannot be saved.

          You would do well not to speak falsely for God. And there verse you cite must not be taken outta context.

          So to answer your question: Yes. Because God says so.

          Do you honestly believe you can tell God what to do? See John 6:44. When God stops calling you’re toast. Are you gonna tell God when He can call or not?

          Are you gonna continue to give the false hope that God never gives up on anyone and they can continue to tell Almighty God “NO!” without consequences?

          You’d be well advised to STOP telling the falsehoods and giving folks false hope. When God Almighty puts a call on your life to surrender as a slave to the Lord Jesus Christ, you would be well-advised to NEVER reject that calling. You may not get another.

          • Miss Chrissy Vee

            Yes, mammy32 said nothing wrong. I will let God judge my motives and my heart, not you. I stand by my convictions, and his Word. God’s will be done.

          • Royce E. Van Blaricome

            Well, I see you didn’t answer any of those questions. That speaks on its own. Just as the words that come out of your mouth judge your heart and if you actually knew the Word of God you would know that too. Here, I’ll help. Checkout Matt. 15;218 & Luke 6:45. I’ll pray that the Holy Spirit illuminate those two passages to your mind.

            But hey, thanks for showing your disobedient and rebellious heart, not to mention Biblical ignorance. Oh, and for the record, I didn’t judge your motives. I judged your actions. Just as Christ has COMMANDED His followers TO do.

            So, you go right ahead and stand on your convictions but you’d be well-advised to know that you are not standing on God’s Word. Unfortunately, your posts are living proof that God’s will is not always done. It’s never God’s will for His Word to be twisted and falsely told.

            All those standing in the Matt. 7:21-23 line will find that out one day.

          • Miss Chrissy Vee

            Honestly, you are one of the most offensive, hypocritical people I have never met, that calls themselves a Christian. That is what I get from your posts. (not just the ones addressed to me). You will have trouble winning souls, and fellowship, jumping up and down pointing fingers and spewing false accusations against your own brothers and sisters, while doing exactly what you accuse them of. You dishonor Jesus with your poisonus tongue. Examine yourself and work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. I will pray that Almighty God blesses you with patience, wisdom, understanding and self control. Until that happens, I am not really concerned about what @royceevanblaricome:disqus thinks of me. I know my Father and he knows me. I hope this has helped you in seeing the massive log in your own eye. Ciao.

          • Royce E. Van Blaricome

            Ah, I see. Can’t answer the questions. Can’t come from a Scriptural perspective. So you resort to the liberal tactic of name-calling and ad hominem.

            Thanks for showing your heart again. Really appreciate it when you Posers open your mouths and show yourselves for what you are.

            I think anyone reading your post can see clearly who has the poisonous tongue! LOL Oh, and you are really one to talk about fear and trembling! LOL And self-control!!! LOLOLOLOL

            YOU have NOT provided ONE Scripture to backup ANYTHING you have said and ESPECIALLY NOT one false accusation from me!!! NOT ONE!!!

            So that was a LIE. And, as the rest of your rant shows, we all know who the author of lies is and what God has to say about those who follow him.

            “I hope this has helped you in seeing the massive log in your own eye.” LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If THAT is not the biggest Sequoia in the forest. LOLOLOLOL

          • Miss Chrissy Vee

            Now you’re just making a fool of yourself… well, a bigger one anyway. Very ineffective.

          • Royce E. Van Blaricome

            Once again you can only resort to name-calling, ad hominem, and personal attacks. You have nothing else. So it’s easy for all to see who the fool is.

            Btw, I edited my previous comments while you were so quick to add yours. You may want to take a look at the additions I made.

            Now you can go back to practicing your lawlessness as workers of initiquity do.

          • Miss Chrissy Vee

            heeheehee … Yeeaah, thanks anyway. I will wisely pass on anything else you have to say. Breath now. Let it go. Give it to God. Good night Royce.

          • Royce E. Van Blaricome

            Prov. 14:12. There is NOTHING “wise” about holding on to sin and rebellion.

            While you’re in Proverbs you might look at 16:18 too. Oh, and don’t miss what God has to say about the mockers and scoffers too.

            I have no problem breathing. But you’ll have a problem once you’ve breathed your last and realize you created your own god in your own image which is the biggest sin most folks make and then meet the One True God face to face just like the others in Matt. 7:21-23.

          • Miss Chrissy Vee

            Oh good grief! You’re like a pesky mosquito buzzing in my ear. I didn’t even read it. I am not interested in anything you have to say Royce. If you have not noticed what a negative force you are here, you are blind. You’re bordering on harassment. I am going to block you now, seeing that is the only way I can make you disappear.

          • Royce E. Van Blaricome

            Thank you again for showing your true colors. Of course you didn’t read it. Why would you want any truth in your life or have to deal with your own lies and deception when pointed out to you.

            The only “negative force” on here is the lies you’re telling. And once again you offer NO truth. No Scripture to backup what you say. Only further name-calling and ad hominem. THAT is “negative”.

            No harassment either from me. Not even borderline. Simply replying to your lies. My replies are no more harassment than yours are. In fact, YOU are the one who is borderline harassment with your constant and continual name-calling without having one iota of substance behind them to back them up at all.

            Nobody forced you to reply to my comments either. IF they really didn’t have anything to them, you’d simply hit the delete button and not feel compelled to have to come back and throw another fiery dart. Once again proving that you are “walking according to the course of this world and the prince of power of the air” (Eph. 2:1-4).

            Well done. Like I said before, always appreciate when the Posers reveal themselves for who they are.

  • Kevin Quillen

    atheists are a special kind of stupid

  • Kevin Quillen

    how can something that does not exist bother them so much?

    • TwoRutRoad

      How can something that does not exist become the basis of a tax exemption?

    • Liberal Elitist

      Non-existent deities have never been a problem. The problems always emanate from their followers.

  • Sally

    Said that to practice religious freedom. By removing “In God we trust” in currency, that means those who trust In God do not have the religious freedom practice? So only thought about the atheists? Then do you consider the people who trust in God? What for to remove? Nothing better to do?

  • Grace Kim Kwon

    No Christianity = No USA. American atheists must stop attacking their own good parents.

    • johndoe

      Christianity isnt needed for the USA to exist. We are a nation of many faith. Atheists arent attacking their parents. What are you even talking about?

  • Royce E. Van Blaricome

    Ah, poor atheist loses again. And once again completely discredits all the atheists claims about this being a completely secular country.

  • robertzaccour

    I see no problem at all with trusting in God. The old court house in town says “In God We Trust high up above the front doors of the building.

  • Liberal Elitist

    I rarely use bills anymore … but when I do, mine display the original motto and that of our founding fathers, “E Pluribus Unum.”

    • Tangent002

      I have a stamp that says ‘Atheist Money’. It fits nicely over ‘In God We Trust’.

      • Liberal Elitist

        You have inspired me. Just placed a stamp order.