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Posted by on Nov 3, 2011 in Law, Politics, Religion | 7 comments

In God We Trust – Still

Officially adopted as the national motto of the United States in 1956, “In God We Trust” has been in official use by the government since it was first added to coinage in 1864 at the direction of Treasury Secretary Samuel Chase. Some wrongly credit Francis Scott Key with originally “coining” the phrase in 1814 in one of the verses of “The Star Spangled Banner”. In a verse not normally sung, and little known by most Americans, Key referred to our motto as being “In God is our trust”.

The motto has not been without its detractors. President Theodore Roosevelt thought it sacrilegious to put the name of God on money. Numerous court challenges have been filed over the years, none successfully. In 1984, the U. S. Supreme Court put the issue to rest in Lynch v. Donnelly. Relying on the doctrine of ceremonial deism, the Court found that the national motto had been so often repeated that it contained no significant religious content and could not be viewed as an establishment of religious in the context of the First Amendment.

The 1956 legislation contains no sunset provision, but that does not stop Congress from reaffirming the national motto from time to time. Prior to yesterday the last reaffirmation was in 2002 when Congress passed legislation saying that the 1956 legislation should not be changed. Then yesterday the great reaffirmation fever struck again as the House, by a vote of 396 to 9, affirmed that the national motto is still “In God We Trust”, encouraging that it be displayed in public schools and government buildings.

Well, ok. With the country doing so well, it’s not like we have any pressing matters for Congress to address.

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Copyright 2011 The Moderate Voice
  • That the GOP did this yesterday when our economy is in the crapper, unemployment is still nearly twice what it was 4 years ago, the foreclosure crisis is still in full swing, and Europe is teetering on dissolution, proves they are out-of-touch, oblivious, and useless.

    Between this and other culture-war nonsense, I am shocked they have any support at all.

  • cjjack

    What makes this act of Congress even more ridiculous is the reason the motto was changed in the first place: To distinguish us from those godless commies in the Soviet Union.

    Apparently our intrepid elected “leaders” forgot that the Soviet Union ceased to exist when today’s college seniors were just learning to walk.

  • Allen

    We have no pressing matters in congress. Only matters suppressed by the Tea Party members.

  • alanmk

    @Allen….your comment is succinctly brilliant. I hope you don’t mind, I’d like to share it elsewhere.

  • JSpencer

    The more I hear about the great republican Teddy Roosevelt, the more I like the guy. Of course today he would be branded a raging liberal. And I agree with others who find it absurd that congress would waste time on this nonsense. It is appropriate for this god motto to be affixed to our money though, since money seems to be the only real god this nation worships once all the pretty trappings are stripped away.

  • Allen


    Use this instead:

    “We have no pressing matters in congress. Only depressing members of congress”

    Or any version you like.

  • lnardozi

    Thank God for Dr. Paul – only he has the nads to say that this was just a cheap grandstanding ploy by people who want so desperately to be reelected they’d sell the entire country to the highest bidder. Really? We needed to “reaffirm” “In God we Trust”? Really? We don’t need to do something else with our infinitely precious Congressional time, like say fix the country? They need to take everyone who voted on this and give them a 5 gallon coffee enema and tell them get the hell to work!

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