The fact that various atheist groups have been working for years to remove all mention of ‘God’ from the government in the United States is hardly news for anyone. Recently, one atheist group even sued in an attempt to take the phrase “In God We Trust” off of U.S. currency, claiming that it was First Amendment violation.
However, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, after reviewing the case and applicable legal precedent, has preserved the monetary motto of “In God We Trust,” and ruled against the atheist lawyer who brought the suit. In doing so, they frustrated the hopes of 29 atheists, their children, and atheist organizations, as well as one lawyer who repeatedly represents such lawsuits, designed to rip out the foundation of American culture.
Anyone who has ever looked at modern American currency has seen the phrase “In God We Trust,” and it has survived numerous legal challenges since it first appeared on money in 1864, when it was put on the two-cent piece.
The result has always been the same. Courts have ruled that it was not unconstitutional, and that there was no cause for removing the motto. This court unanimously agreed.
Judge Raymond Gruender, in an interesting twist, pointed out that the appearance of the motto on U.S. currency not only isn’t unconstitutional, but also that it did not constitute an establishment of religion, a statement he based on a 2014 United States Supreme Court decision that required a review of “historical practices.”
In the decision, Judge Gruender stated that the U.S. Constitution allows the government to celebrate America’s tradition of free practice of religion, and that the motto’s placement on currency “comports with early understandings of the Establishment Clause” of the First Amendment, without compelling any religious observance.
The use of the motto on money began during the civil war, when religious sentiment in the United States was on the rise.
“In God We Trust” is also the national motto of the United States, which President Dwight Eisenhower signed into law on July 30, 1956, when it replaced America’s unofficial motto, E Pluribus Unum.
The decision, handed down on Tuesday, upheld the 2016 ruling of a lower court. The Eighth Circuit upheld said ruling by 3-0 vote.
He also complained that a history of “governmental denigration” of a suspect class should, in his mind, trump the principle that neutrality should be the touchstone for any analysis of legal claims under the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause.
Interestingly, this is not Newdow’s first time being involved in a lawsuit attempting to remove the national motto from various places.
In November 2005, he announced that he wanted the motto removed from coins and paper money.
On November 14, 2005, during an interview on Fox News with Neil Cavuto, he claimed that the use of the phrase on currency was the equivalent of racial segregation, and claimed that somehow, the motto appearing on legal tender suggested it was “okay to separate two people on the basis of their religious beliefs.”
In June 2006, a federal judge rejected a lawsuit brought forth by Newdow concerning the Establishment Clause, ruling that the phrase was essentially a secular national slogan, ruling it did not dictate anyone’s beliefs.
Even the Ninth Circuit Court, commonly called the Ninth Circus Court for its hard-left rulings, rejected his argument, and pointed to an earlier decision where the court stated that the motto is of a “patriotic or ceremonial character,” and that it has no “theological or ritualistic impact.”
The Ninth Circuit also ruled that the U.S. slogan did not constitute “governmental sponsorship” of religious exercise.
Even the extremely liberal Justice Stephen Reinhardt, appointed to the Ninth Circuit by Jimmy Carter, concurred with the court’s ruling, and with the standing precedent concerning the national slogan.
Once again, he filed, and appealed, what appears to be a lawsuit without merit, and once again, the judiciary protected “In God We Trust.”
Though this is not likely to be the last case of its kind, nor even the last such case from Newdow, who has made a name for himself in trying cases attempting to remove even the mention of God from all vestiges of government, it does not seem likely he will be victorious in the near future.