Addressing “In God We Trust” on Our Currency

Are you accepting of having "In God We Trust" on our currency? Or does it offend you, or cause unwanted presumptions by your children? Do you feel that it constitutes an official statement of support for monotheism by the US Government?

Many Americans would be surprised to discover that "In God We Trust" has only been the official motto of the United States since 1956. Prior to that, E pluribus unum ("Out of many, one") was the motto used.

Mike Newdow of the Southern Maryland Secular Humanists and Washington Area Secular Humanists has sent the following letter, asking for support to change the motto:

There have now been three Supreme Court cases dealing with the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) as it pertains to federal laws. A review of the opinions show that RFRA was strongly supported by 8 of 8 justices in Gonzales v. O Centro Espirita (2005), by 9 of 9 justices in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby (2014) and by 9 of 9 justices in Holt v Hobbs (2015). Thus, the time is ripe for Atheists to challenge being essentially forced to bear the message, "In God We Trust" – in violation of their religious beliefs – as the price to pay for simply choosing to carry the nation's currency in their pockets.

In fact, in the seven federal circuits where "In God We Trust" has yet to be litigated, challenges are now being organized to do just that. If you could use your voice to notify your followers of this fact, it would be greatly appreciated. Individuals (or organizations) who wish to serve as plaintiffs and who are from those seven circuits (i.e., who are from Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia or Wisconsin) should email their contact information – including city and state of residence – to [email protected] as soon as possible.

Because the Supreme Court has indicated that it is more concerned about constitutional guarantees when children are involved, those who wish to protect their children from the government’s religious transgressions are especially encouraged to write. Please be assured that we will move for a court orders to keep the names of families with children under seal. (To date, those motions have always been granted, and – as far as I know – the families’ names have always remained undisclosed.)

Those interested should send email to [email protected] including their name, address, including county & state, and telephone number.