In God

The religious symbolism on U.S. Currency directly violates the distinction between church and state.

A federal lawsuit was filed during the second week of January in Akron, Ohio, where a cluster of atheists sought to discontinue the “In God We Trust” phase from U.S. currency. They argue that this expression directly violates the distinction of state and church.

Michael Newdow, a California attorney, has filed this lawsuit. It states that the “In God We Trust” phrase is unconstitutional and it should not be printed an American currency. If the lawsuit wins, then the phrase will not be printed on money. Newdow leads a group of a total of 41 plaintiffs. This kind of lawsuit is nothing new to Newdow, who had previously filed cases against the American Government for removing “Under God” words from Pledge of Allegiance. The case was not successful.

According to this suit, as the plaintiffs handle money on a regular basis, the “In God We Trust” phrase is imposed on them every time they handle paper financial transactions. One of the plaintiffs handles American currency more frequently than others and being a Humanist, she is loath to trust or believe in any higher power. The complaint further replaces the word “God” by “g-d” to refer to the mythical higher power.

The lawsuit continues to further state that her beliefs require that she must have total confidence when it comes to her own abilities. She is also responsible for leading an ethical life. When she handles money, she gets uncomfortable when the words “In G-d We Trust” assails her eyes. It follows that she is compelled against her will to first accept and then redistribute a particular message which is completely against her beliefs. However, it can be neither reasonable nor realistic to abandon the currency of the nation and use other varieties of payments for making the transactions.

It is not surprising that her campaign has been met with resistance. They came from religious commentators like American Center for Law and Justice, an organization linked with Christian Advocates Serving Evangelism Inc., which described the suit as the attempt to eviscerate the U.S. motto that is linked with religious heritage.

In an article on a religious website, Newdow writes of an absence of compelling government interest when it came to “In God We Trust” in matters of money. He said that America did excellently for the 75 years prior to the incorporation of the phase. He also pointed out that a large number of countries also did well without any religious connotation on their currencies.

Ben Carson is going the other way as he has spawned a new social campaign on Facebook. The Presidential hopeful is asking believers of God to post photos of themselves with a “In God We Trust” sign.

In a Facebook post on Tuesday Carson wrote: “Change your profile picture to you holding a ‘In God We Trust’ sign if you believe God should remain a core principle of our nation.”

In less than 24 hours, Carson gained about 100,000 likes and a wave of comments.

Change your profile picture to you holding a "In God We Trust" sign if you believe God should remain a core principle of our nation.

Posted by Dr. Ben Carson on Tuesday, January 19, 2016

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