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Beliefnet News


Court Rejects Challenge to ‘In God We Trust’

posted by Jennifer E. Jones

WASHINGTON (RNS) Atheist Michael Newdow plans to continue his fight to get “In God We Trust” off U.S. currency after the Supreme Court denied a hearing in his case on Monday (March 7).
“I plan on bringing the lawsuit again on behalf of other Americans who believe they are injured when the government lends its power to one side of the controversy over whether or not God exists,” he said Tuesday.
Newdow, a doctor in Sacramento, Calif., has filed numerous First Amendment suits concerning government endorsement of religion. He filed the challenge to the national motto in 2005.
A year ago, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against him, citing a 1970 decision that said the use of the motto on U.S. coins and bills is “of a patriotic or ceremonial character and bears no true resemblance to a governmental sponsorship of a religious exercise.”
Newdow sought a rehearing of the case last April, but was denied in October. Two months after he asked the Supreme Court to review the decision, the case was dismissed without comment.
The Obama administration and the Pacific Justice Institute, a Sacramento-based legal defense organization, argued against Newdow, saying court precedent called for the case to be dismissed.
- ADELLE M. BANKS, Religion News Service



  • cknuck

    This guy is just amazingly bitter, what injury? If he is that delicate he should live in a cave on an island.

  • Henrietta22

    This atheist is sticking to “In God We Trust”, like a tick on a dog without Frontline, Plus.

  • nnmns

    I don’t see bitterness. I see a dedicated guy trying to do a valuable job that’s Politically Incorrect. He doesn’t stand a chance and that’s a shame.

  • Mordred08

    “E Pluribus Unum” is a better motto anyway.

  • Anton Batey

    Michael Newdow is awesome. I wish him luck and hope that is successful.

  • jestrfyl

    Theologically speaking, I have some issue with mixing God and politics on currency. It seems to cheapen God and it calls into question the viability of the seperation of Church and State. At the same time, I think the same phrase spoils the poetry of the Pledge of Allegiance. It sounds more like it was spliced in, which it was, than if it was intended.
    These interjectins of public piety fly in the face of Jesus’ teachings – see Matthew 6, the verses preceding him planting the seed that blossoms into the Lord’s Prayer. Could these interjections simply be one more way to appease people who have such short attention spans that they forget God’s continual presence? Otherwise they are violating Jesus’ lesson against vain PDAs (public displays of affiliation).

  • Carl Hoffman

    the only reason this issue is considered “controversial” instead of obviously unconstitutional is that we Americans are immersed in a virtual Christian dictatorship like fish in water who also take their environment for granted.
    nonreligious Americans have tolerated the smug self-satisfied attitude and privileges of believers for far too long. unlike churchgoers, i will get a ticket if i arrogantly double-park and block the street.
    the fact that the courts are just as caught up in all this as everyone else is a very dangerous situation. as a result, they are not doing their jobs but instead rule in favor of established tradition and according to their own prejudices rather than upholding the Constitution.

  • Jyl

    It could say in “in gods we trust” or “in Gd we trust” or “in money we trust”…
    I don’t care what is says, I don’t mind either way.
    It is only money, it can’t force an Atheist to worship G-d.
    But then again I don’t think I would like it to say “in jesus we trust.” huh?
    Well, the government can put what it wants on its own currency. I am not going to complain.
    Wonder what would happen if they wrote “in Satan we trust?”

  • Valerie

    If people have to have “God” on money to remember their beliefs, there’s a serious problem there. Government and God don’t work well together, that’s obvious. Keep them separate.

  • RAY WATSON

    IF I WERE GOD, I WOULD STRIKE DEAD ANYONE WHO BROUGHT SUCH A SUIT OR SUPPORTED THE BRINGING OF SUCH A SUIT, IN SUCH A WAY THAT IT WOULD BE OBVIOUS GOD HAD STRUCK THEM DEAD ON THE SPOT. MAKYBE SOME THEN WOULD UNDERSTAND GOD IS.

  • nnmns

    Ray, “God” isn’t. Sorry about that. As you correctly point out a real god could convince a lot of people, presumably something it wants. But none does. Conclusion: none is.
    As far as the motto, it’s just a bad motto. It’s divisive – it doesn’t apply to a large number of us. Many of us don’t think there is a god and of those who do think there’s one many don’t trust it.
    It’s a bad motto.

  • pagansister

    Sorry Ray—guess god didn’t understand she was supposed to do what you wanted—nor did she appoint you to take her place. (which is great).
    There has never been a reason to have the word god either in our Pledge or on our money. I never state the “under God” when saying the Pledge as I have never agreed with it—old enough to have learned it without the ridiculious words added–but I can’t remove it from our currency. But since I only spend it and not read it everytime, guess I and others will unfortunately have to continue to live with. It doesn’t represent who I believe in—but it implys that everyone in this country does believe in a god and trust her/him.

  • cknuck

    JEST YOU TEACH THE BIBLE SIDEWAYS, JESUS MADE THE ULTIMATE PUBLIC DISPLAY OF AFFILIATION ON THE CROSS. I SEE YOU STILL ARE THE ATHEIST’S BEST RESOURCE.

  • pagansister

    cknuck—Isn’t there something about stone tossing in your reference book when judging others?

  • nnmns

    Could be he overlooked the “not”.

  • cknuck

    Dietrich Bonhoeffer calls it cheap grace:
    Cheap grace is the grace we bestow on ourselves . . . the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, communion without confession. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship
    pagan in your defense this may go over your head but jest will know that’s why he does not get a pass. nnmns you nurture a hatred for God

  • Henrietta22

    Such arrogance to shout at Jestrfyl, but you do have freedom of speech, very much like Westboro Church does, only on beliefnet.

  • PamFromNY

    God would probably prefer his name be removed from our money since America does not represent Him anymore. Just my opinion. Preserving “In God We Trust” by no means will save this nation.

  • Henrietta22

    Pam from NY, God loves us all, money is of no importance to Him. Only to man if you want to eat, sleep with a roof over your head, cover your body, stay well, and all those insignificant things. How’s the weather today in N.Y.?

  • nnmns

    cknuck you are incapable of learning. I don’t hate your god any more than I hate the Easter Bunny.

  • cknuck

    H, really? “All though insignificant things?” God clearly talks about giving (money) it is the only thing He said to test Him on. People worship with their money so it is important to God. So much misinformation.
    nnmns you are a amazingly transparent liar, you don’t spend time putting down the Easter bunny, but you do spend an enormous amount of time and energy trying to put down God. Good luck with the bunny bull.

  • pagansister

    Hard to remember the Easter Bunny or hate her when it isn’t even Easter yet! Gracious.

  • Tray

    It all comes down to the fact that it just doesn’t belong on currency in the first place. There is no denying that it fundamentally conflicts with a separation of church and state. As an atheist myself, it really doesn’t hurt me any that it’s on there it’s just silly. Why doesn’t it just say “We like hamburgers.” Sure, it would offend the vegetarians, but would probably reflect roughly the same majority of Americans. Not to mention, it is a statement that would have just as much of a reason to be on the currency.

  • cknuck

    God has never conflicted with separation of church and state, it was never the intent to athelize the state against God. (I know I invented a word but it is true) It was never the intention of the founders to kick God out of government. The church has always served this country from the revolution till now.

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