Is God really real and if so, do we trust Him? That’s a great individual question and it’s a question being actively debated in the culture over the motto “In God We Trust.”
On the one hand there are those who want to see “In God We Trust” removed from U.S. currency and on another hand there are those who want to divert public funds to have it added to police cars.
The debate currently swirls around two things: cop cars and currency, and whether the government can mandate the inclusion of “In God We Trust” on them. And while cops may represent the law, cash remains king. The legal precedence related to the appearance of the national motto on U.S. currency is relevant to the discussion about bumper stickers.
In ‘God’ We Trust?
The motto, “In God We Trust,” is by legal decree the official motto of the United States and it has withstood several legal challenges. The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which ruled: “It is quite obvious that the national motto and the slogan on coinage and currency ‘In God We Trust’ has nothing whatsoever to do with the establishment of religion. Its use is of patriotic or ceremonial character and bears no true resemblance to a governmental sponsorship of a religious exercise.”
Similarly, in 2004 in a case seeking to remove “under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance, the Aronow ruling was cited. These acts of “ceremonial deism” are “protected from Establishment Clause scrutiny chiefly because they have lost through rote repetition any significant religious content.”
That’s right, the phrases “one nation under God” and “in God we trust” have “lost through rote repetition any significant religious content.” As Christians, that should grieve our souls and sear our conscience.