Target: U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, Timothy Geithner
Goal: Remove “In God We Trust” from U.S. currency
“In God We Trust” should be removed from U.S. currency because it sends the message that the U.S. adheres to one religion, thus violating the First Amendment and creating division among citizens. The United States was not founded on Christian beliefs, and the Constitution was deliberately written as a godless set of rules. Please sign this petition and urge the U.S. Treasury to remove the religious, divisive, and unconstitutional words, “In God We Trust,” from U.S. currency.
While the words on our money may not seem like a big deal, currency is one of our nation’s basic foundations that should represent Americans regardless of religious affiliation. According to the Freedom from Religion Foundation, “It is constantly cited by the religious right as verification that this is a ‘Christian nation,’ and as grounds for further state/church entanglement. The religious right needs to be reminded that ours is a godless Constitution, and was very purposefully and deliberately written that way.” As more and more Americans express skepticism about the existence of God, or defining God in non-traditional ways, the phrase, “In God We Trust,” is increasingly polarizing and simply inaccurate.
Regardless of religious preference, this phrase is a violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. The phrase is obviously religious due to the inclusion of the Christian deity, “God”, showing that the government has selected and established a particular monotheistic type of religion. As the First Amendment states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”. In 1956 Congress passed a bill to have the motto placed on paper currency, as well as a resolution declaring “In God We Trust” as the national motto.
Our national’s original, yet unofficial motto was “E Pluribus Unum”, or “Out of Many, One”. The phrase was codified on the Great Seal of the United States in 1782 and serves as an inclusive celebration of our diverse nation without being muddled by something as personal and controversial as religion. Please sign this petition and urge Secretary Geithner to remove “In God We Trust” from all future U.S. currency as it violates our First Amendment, creates a divide amongst Americans, and questions Americans who do not trust in God.
Dear Secretary Geithner,
“In God We Trust” needs to be removed from U.S. currency in order to divide church and state, comply with the First Amendment, and send a message of inclusiveness to all Americans. The United States was not founded on Christian beliefs and our Constitution was intentionally written as a godless document. Despite these efforts to establish a diverse nation where everyone is accepted regardless of belief, the motto displayed on the country’s foundation, money, sends a different message.
When Congress voted to officially make “In God We Trust” our nation’s motto, thereby solidifying the importance of the phrase on our currency, they violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment; “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment on religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” The religious right highlights the phrase and its importance to our nation to verify that we are a “Christian nation” and further church and state entanglement should follow suit with the motto. Despite the large Christian American following, more and more Americans are expressing skepticism about the existence of God, or defining God in a non-traditional ways.
As we evolve as a nation, it is important that old practices be reassessed for their implications in a modern society. The declaration was first placed on coins in 1864, then paper currency in 1955, and a year later Congress passed a resolution declaring “In God We Trust” the national motto. The original, albeit unofficial, U.S. motto was “E Pluribus Unum” or “Out of Many, One.” This phrase, void of religious or controversial context, establishes the nation as a diverse compilation of people drawn from many backgrounds, yet united as Americans. Why not re-instate this message, which is codified on the Great Seal of the United States, as a way to recognize and rectify the blatant adherence to Christianity in “In God We Trust.”
I urge you to remove “In God We Trust” from all future currency in order to send a message of inclusiveness and act in accordance with the Constitution.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Kevin dooley via flickr