Does the use of "In God We Trust" on our currency violate the separation of church and state?
"In God We Trust" wasn't always on U.S. currency. I believe it was put on coins in the 1860s and then later on paper money in the 1950s. From what I understand, court cases have already come and gone concerning this issue, but I'm curious to know some general thoughts about it. Our country has a lot of roots in religion, but our modern society prides itself on having the freedom of choice. Does this phrase exclude non-deity based religions and atheists/agnostics? If you do believe in a god, would you feel excluded if our money said "We Trust in No God"?
I believe it does violate the separation of church and state item in the constitution. I do not think the violation constitutes enough of a threat to enforce the law. There are so many other issues that are more threatening to religious rights.
I suppose it does, but I am much more concerned about when violating the separation of church and state also harm certain groups. For example, the various bans on gay marriage and restrictions on abortion. In general, I think people have the right to believe whatever they want, bu they do not have the right to ask the government to validate that belief or make it law.
Yes, technically it does. That is something that has drove me crazy my whole life. Take swearing on the bible for instance. What's that do? Nothing. A person is taught integrity. It is not something one instantly obtains immediately, upon the laying of hands on a bible. That shouldn't be apart of our justice system. Take the Pledge of Allegiance. Come on they added that God business in the 1950's during the McCarthy era. Take it out already, it doesn't belong there. Why? First of all, the USSR is no more, and who cares if the world is run by Atheists anyways. Truthfully, religion puts a haze on everything it touches, in terms of government control. It only serves to muddy the waters, so to say. Our country would probably be better run, and more freedom oriented if Atheists were the only ones allowed to serve in politics. I am a Christian. I am deeply "in love" with Jesus Christ. I have had an intimate relationship with my God since childhood. But do I think that Christ would have made a good President? Heck no!
Religion has no purpose when it comes to government, except to suppress the idealists of this world. Imagine if our fore fathers ideals would have remained suppressed. We be nothing more than another Northern Ireland. How sad that would be.
Great question! You've gained a new fan.
Isn't that phrase ingrained into our cultural heritage? I see no sense in throwing out reminders of where we were. Yes, our culture prides itself on freedom of religion; but, we have had to forge that freedom, even after the revolution.
The short answer is yes.
The much longer answer is we are not and were not founded as a Christian Nation and our roots are not in religion. Our Founding Fathers were primarily Unitarians and Deists, they had a strong disdain for organized religion within the construct of government. Thomas Jefferson, the primary author of the Constitution wrote the Jefferson Bible, still in print today; a Bible following the life of Christ without the miracles.
There were two movements, one directly after the Civil War and the other after WWII to drive this nation closer to a Theocracy. Each resulted in small inroads, but the 1950's saw the most pronounced with the changing of our national motto on all our monetary instruments to "In God we Trust" and the insertion of "One Nation Under God" in our Pledge, change the Pledge to a prayer.
In the 1990's we began to see the next surge of the Christian Right, this time the most radical one with the Christian Coalition, led by Pat Robertson. This dramatic shift right is a change in ideology to Christian Reconstructionism, or Theocratic Dominionism. Many of the leading Republican Governors, Presidential Candidates and current federal and state legislators all belong to churches within this coalition and believe in Theocratic Domininion, that is that the United States of America should be a Christian Nation living by Old Testament Law.
They further believe, as was explained by one of the leading scholars of Christian Reconstruction, Rousas John Rushdoony, no person should be allowed to worship any other God but the Christian God and the first amendment was intended to protect the church from government only.
@Valentine- check your history, please. While it is true thet many colonies were founded as money making enterprizes, the seminal points of American History, is the Mayflower compact, and the people on that voyage were Protestants, who were offended
I do not believe the statement In God We Trust violates the principle of separation of church and state. There are many things not just our currency that refers to God. There have been many court battles over issues about religious displays and the decisions have been mixed. Some ruled that the display such as the Ten Commandments does not violate the separation of church and state while others ruled that it does.
One thing that makes the issue about displaying the Ten Commandments is that no one complains about them being on display at the Supreme Court. Having In God We Trust or displaying the Ten Commandments does not violate the sparation of church and state. The simple reason I make the statement is that there is no specific religion identified in either of the examples. Separation of church and state is in place for not having the government establish a religion for the country. This reason seems to have gotten lost in all the court cases that have been brought for the simple reason someone does not like them.
The points made in other answers for this question are good ones and I have no problem with their point of view, I just believe it does not violate the principle of the separation of church and state..
I do not believe it violates the separation, but I do think it is a stupid motto. We've only had it for 60 years, if that tells you anything.
Every time people start talking about separation of church and state or no prayer in schools, something tragical happens. Shhhhh! Satan just loves it when we separate what we do from God. That's when he steps in. He loves an idle mind or an unprotected field. He plants there all kinds of seeds of corruption. I want my money to be blessed. Put God in everything! He is our protection. Even the country's founding patriarchs had the good sense to know that even though they were not perfect. Who is? We all need "In God we trust" whether we know it or not.
No. and the "separation of church ans state" does not exist. While many Americans claim to be Christians, Christianity is not a state sponsored belief system like... the Church of England. And being something of a traditionalist... I don't mind seeing "in God we trust" on the Currency. I don't understand how it is offensive.
No, it is not. And the first Bible mass produced in North America was commissioned by Congress to be distributed in schools.
The First Amendment was to prevent the state from interfering in religion, like when England made Puritanism equal to treason and alternatively prosecuted Catholics and Protestants. The First Amendment was not to banish religion from the public square, but allow religious groups freedom from the state.
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