Most Americans are probably unaware that the United States has an official motto:
In God We Trust.
If you’ve ever examined the back of a twenty dollar bill, for example, you can clearly see this creed printed above the bill’s illustration of The White House. It was first established in 1864 appearing on U.S. coins, and it wasn’t until 1957 that paper currency started using the phrase.
But the slogan, In God We Trust has been very controversial, because many believe the motto is a religious reference. And according to the separation of church and state, a religion has to be kept out of our government .
One woman chose to challenge the motto and took it to court in Ohio, arguing that In God We Trust infringes on her right to her religious freedom, because the it is a Christian slogan that excludes other religions. The female plaintiff told the judge that the phrase is a breach of the Freedom Restoration Act.
Unfortunately, Judge Benita Pearson disagreed with the plaintiff and tossed the lawsuit out of court, stating that the plaintiff had no proof of the claimed burden. Judge Pearson issued a statement emphasizing, for example, that credit cards and checks allow people like the plaintiff to make multiple purchases with currency that is not inscribed with the motto. So, in other words, how is this a hardship or great challenge to the plaintiff, when she has free exercise to use credit cards and checks?
For the moment, the nation’s official motto In God We Trust will stay on United States currency.
Some folks are fuming, others are pleased with the judge’s ruling and strongly support those simple four words. We are certain the ruling will be challenged again at some point.
How do you stand on the motto?
Did the judge make the right call?