addictinginfo.org; via cdm on Facebook
One of the founding principles of the United States of America was to be free from religious rule. The Constitution itself reads, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion,” so why do religious zealots insist we keep a phrase on our currency that is so profoundly un-American?
Another question that can be asked is, “In which God are we trusting?” considering in a free nation everyone is allowed to worship whatever God they choose as so long as they’re not harming anyone. In fact, having a religion is not requirement, so by inferring that all Americans are trusting in a deity is a direct affront to freedom itself.
And if we allow “In God We Trust” on currency, where does the insertion of religion into government end? There is to be a separation of church and state. This is to protect not just the state, but also the church. I doubt any churchgoer would like the government to show up at their place of worship and tell them how to pray to their God, or carry something at all times that was a misrepresentation of themselves. This separation is for a reason — Freedom of religion, and freedom from religion.
Attacking this issue head-on is Michael Newdow, who is best known for his Supreme Court case “Elk Grove Unified School District v. Newdow” where he attempted to remove “Under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance – words that weren’t added until 1954. He also cites that having these words on our currency violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). A direct violation he’s hoping will help him win his case.
“Because Constitutional principles can be twisted and perverted, the challenges to this practice under the Establishment Clause have, so far, failed… Challenges under RFRA, however, are not as susceptible to misapplication. This is because every Supreme Court justice involved in the three RFRA cases heard to date has agreed that, under RFRA, religious activity may not be substantially burdened without a compelling governmental interest and laws narrowly tailored to serve that interest.”
Newdow now seeks plaintiffs to join him on his quest to rid the nation of these unconstitutional words on our currency once and for all. He says:
“There is obviously no compelling government interest in having “In God We Trust” on our money. We did fine for the 75 years before the phrase was ever used at all, and continued to do fine for the subsequent 102 years before such inscriptions were made mandatory on every coin and currency bill. Similarly, the vast majority of nations manage to function without religious verbiage on their money.”
“For those who feel that being forced by the government to carry a message that violates their religious ideals is substantially burdensome, lawsuits are now being prepared in the seven (of twelve) federal circuits that have not yet heard challenges to this governmental practice.”
Who is he seeking to join him?
...“Plaintiffs are now being sought to participate in these cases. The time commitment will be minimal (as you help write the prose relevant to your particular circumstances) and there will be no obligation to provide any financial contribution (although such help will certainly not be refused). We actually are quite far along in finding plaintiffs. What we need mostly are families with minor children since the Supreme Court has indicated that it is more likely to uphold constitutional (and, presumably, statutory) principles when children are involved. Please be advised that the identities of any families with children will be kept “under seal” in order to protect the children from any harms. So if you feel strongly about this issue, I want to hear from you. A few organizational plaintiffs are missing as well.”
We are to be a nation where people can worship whatever they want on their own time (That’s the whole “Free Exercise” part), but no laws are to be written recognizing religion, and having “In God We Trust”on our currency is obviously a clear violation.