Another new lawsuit filed on behalf of several atheist plaintiffs argues that the phrase “In God We Trust” on U.S. money is unconstitutional, and calls for the government to remove it. Attempts to remove language referring to God on any government related materials are nothing new, but they have been persistent as this latest attempt demonstrates.
Sacramento attorney Michael Newdow (shown at right) filed this latest lawsuit Monday in Akron, Ohio. He has unsuccessfully sued the government at least twice before challenging the use of the phrase “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Newdow claims “In God We Trust” violates the separation of church and state. The lawsuit represents 41 plaintiffs from Ohio and Michigan, including many unnamed parents and children who are atheists or are being raised as atheists. One plaintiff says his atheism is “substantially burdened because he is forced to bear on his person a religious statement that causes him to sense his government legitimizing, promoting and reinforcing negative and injurious attitudes not only against atheists in general, but against him personally.”
Throughout much of his lawsuit, the word “God” appears as “G-d.”
In similar cases, the Supreme Court has already ruled that any reference to “God” is vague enough so as to not be endorsing any particular religion.
The words “In God We Trust” were first added to U.S. coins during the beginning of the Civil War. On July 30, 1956, President Eisenhower signed a law officially declaring “In God We Trust” to be America’s official motto.
“Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God” (Psalm 20:7).