Determined atheists who were challenging the “In God We Trust” motto on the United States’ currency lost their case once again on May 28. They have lost this battle many times before as court after court across the United States have stated that engraving and printing these words on its currency notes does not violate the American constitution.
According to the plaintiffs, a group comprising humanists and freethinkers, the words “In God We Trust” amount to the government endorsing religion, which basically violates the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause. The atheists in concern had reminded the court that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act requires the government to prove that it has gone to great lengths to avoid burdening religious expressions upon its citizens. They also stated that this tradition forces nonbelievers and atheists to carry around a religious statement in their pocketbooks and pockets, which additionally violates their right to exercise religious freedom.
The three-judge panel of the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals in New York City said that the courts have assessed the motto as a general statement of optimism and a reference to the country’s religious heritage as opposed to an entanglement of government in religion.
“We respectfully disagree that appellants have identified a substantial burden upon their religious practices or beliefs,” they said.
The decision in favour of believers seemed to please those who have worked hard towards protecting religious expressions in the public realm.
“Americans need not be forced to abandon their religious heritage simply to appease someone’s animosity toward anything that references God,” said Rory Gray from Alliance Defending Freedom.
But clearly, the ruling failed to appease those who believe religion is creeping into places where the church and state should be separated. American Atheists, a group that was not party to the suit said that the court’s ruling based on the historical acceptance of the motto is flawed.
“Tradition is a terrible excuse for any behavior… If we allowed ‘tradition’ to guide our views, what else would we uphold — slavery, denying the vote to women? The simple fact is that ‘In God We Trust’ has no rightful place on currency in the United States, a country with separation of church and state, and it never has,” said American Atheists spokesman David Muscato.
If these judges really want to honor the religious history of the US, they should bring back witch burning. That's the kind of atrocities that occur when religion worms its way into government. By the very act of the word "we" being involved in the statement it assumes an agreement by all people. This assumption is patently false and forces all nonbelievers to issue a false oath of complicity when having to use physical currency. The flat out fact is that WE don't trust any god. SOME people do, but that isn't WE the entirety of US citizens.
Of course I must also say that much like this god so many trust in, our US currency lacks any actual valid substance and is merely an illusion meant to keep the masses preoccupied and docile. So maybe the "motto" should stay as a reminder that our money is as worthless as religion.
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