In God We Trust – Should It Be Removed From Coins?
The rise of bills like Louisiana’s coincides with a concerted effort by Christian nationalists to promote the motto. These Christian nationalists combine conservative religious beliefs with a belief in the United States as a white Christian nation.
They assume that the laws of the country should reflect their beliefs and values. They also believe that Christian values should be privileged in the public sphere.
The phrase “in God we trust” first appeared on coins in 1863. Congress added it to paper money a few decades later, in 1956.
The move was part of a campaign by Christian nationalists who wanted to privilege their religion and beliefs in government institutions. They pushed to add “under God” to the pledge of allegiance and to make “In God We Trust” the nation’s official motto.
But while it’s true that the phrase has a long history, it’s also true that the founders established this country with the separation of church and state. Courts have ruled that the motto is not constitutionally protected and has no religious meaning. But that hasn’t stopped politicians and the public from fighting over it. Across the country, local governments have been adding “In God We Trust” decals to sheriff’s cars, sparking showdowns with atheist groups.
Those who advocate keeping the motto on currency and displaying it at courthouses argue that removing it trivializes religious values. They also say that the nation was founded on Christianity and removing it would be an insult to Christian history. In addition, they believe that mentioning God is a way to preserve the Constitution’s separation of church and state.
In God We Trust has been the national motto since 1956. Despite criticism that it violates the First Amendment’s ban on government endorsement of religion, federal courts have upheld its constitutionality.
The phrase has become a central symbol of Christian nationalism, a political movement that combines conservative religious beliefs with a sense of white American identity. The movement has had great success in pushing for legislation that privileges conservative Christian values.
In a nation built on the separation of church and state, having God’s name on currency undermines the Constitution and trivializes religious values. It’s time to remove “In God We Trust” from our coins and to reclaim the phrase for people of all faiths.
The first time the words In God We Trust appeared on United States coins was in 1863. This was part of a larger push by Christian nationalists for legislation to privilege conservative Christian values.
While these groups claim to support religious freedom, their goal is actually to privilege white Christian, especially evangelical, values in the public sphere. This has become the official policy of many state governments, including Florida. This trend is alarming because it suggests that state-sponsored religion has become a force to be reckoned with in American politics.
In God We Trust first appeared on United States coins in 1863, after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation and during the Civil War. This was a period of religious indoctrination and national division as brothers fought each other at places like Chickamauga and Gettysburg. It was a time of Christian nationalism, a political ideology that combines conservative religious beliefs with a white American identity.
Early Christian nationalists criticized the Founding Fathers for not explicitly recognizing Christianity in the Constitution. They pushed for a “Christian Amendment” that would have added “In God We Trust” to the pledge of allegiance and placed it on coins, but this effort failed. The phrase was eventually added to paper money after Congress passed a law mandating it. This move was largely ceremonial, according to legal experts.
Since the late twentieth century, as religious conservatives launched a campaign to get the motto posted in America’s public schools, courts have been debating its constitutionality. These legal challenges are often framed as a first amendment matter and have proved controversial in courtrooms and public opinion.
The motto has become a key issue in the politics of Christian nationalism, a political movement that combines conservative religious beliefs with a sense of a unified white American identity. These activists believe that the laws of the country should reflect Christian values, and that Christianity should be privileged in the public sphere.
The battle over the national motto has been complicated by a series of court decisions that appear to cast doubt on the constitutional status of civil religion in America. These include Engel v. Vitale, in which the Supreme Court struck down New York’s state-mandated Regent’s Prayer and triggered legal and political reverberations that have lasted for decades.