A federal appeals court in Minnesota upheld that the phrase ‘In God We Trust,’ printed on U.S. currency, is Constitutional, striking another blow to atheists who have claimed it violates their First Amendment free speech and religious rights.
A group of 29 atheists, children of atheists and atheist groups filed a lawsuit claiming that the motto violated their rights and amounted to religious coercion.
The 3-0 ruling (one judge withheld analysis) upheld a Dec. 2016 lower court ruling and indicated that the phrase is in line with historical use.
Circuit Judge Raymond Gruender opined that the Constitution lets the government celebrate “our tradition of religious freedom,” and as such, using it on currency “comports with early understandings of the Establishment Clause.”
A lawyer for the atheists, who fails to see the irony in claiming the phrase is religious coercion but having it removed would not be the same, called the ruling “utterly revolting.”
In May, a pair of Minnesota Democrats challenged a bill that would allow ‘In God We Trust’ back into high schools, even claiming that the phrase offends them.
“The money in my wallet has to say ‘In God We Trust.’ I think that’s offensive,” Senator John Marty said on the floor of the state Senate.
Another Senator, Scott Dibble, offered a false equivalency in his argument.
“I’m wondering if (Dan Hall, the Senator who introduced the bill) would feel the same if students walked in and instead of the word ‘God’ the word ‘Allah’ – which is the word for God in the Muslim religion – welcomes students to their schools.”
President Dwight Eisenhower signed a law making the phrase ‘In God We Trust’ the national motto in 1956.
During his first State of the Union address, President Trump reminded Americans of this fact.
“In America, we know that faith and family, not government and bureaucracy, are the center of the American life,” he said. “Our motto is ‘in God we trust.’”
Public schools in six states have now passed laws allowing the phrase to appear within district buildings.
Cross posted at the Mental Recession