Atheists want “In God We Trust” removed from U.S. currency; Lawsuit claims phrase ludicrous, legally flawed, pro-Christian bias
Jan 18, 2016 10:59 AM EST
A group of atheist have filed a new lawsuit seeking the removal of the phrase "In God We Trust" printed in the U.S. dollar. This is due to the claim that the phrase creates pro-Christian bias in the US, and is unconstitutional due to violation of the separation of church and state.
Fox News reports that a lawyer from Sacramento named Michael Newdow filed the lawsuit in behalf of 41 atheist plaintiffs from Ohio and Michigan last Monday, January 11, 2016, in Akron, Ohio. The defendants to the case include the Treasury Secretary, Jacob Lew, and the U.S. Congress. Newdow had previously and unsuccessfully sued the U.S. government seeking to remove the phrase "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance. The lawsuit, as well as his previous lawsuits, claim that the phrase "In God We Trust" is unconstitutional due to its violation of the separation of church and state. All throughout Newdow's lawsuit, "G-d" was used in place of "God".
Further, Newdow claims that the phrase constitutes an unconstitutional religious test and creates an anti-atheist, pro-Christian bias. The conservative blog Red State branded the claim as ludicrous and legally flawed, and should be thrown out of court. In 2004, the ACLJ filed an amicus brief at the Supreme Court on behalf of 68 Members of Congress and more than 260,000 Americans to successfully fend off a similar legal challenge that sought to remove the phrase "under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance.
Christian Today reports that in his blog post, Newdon wrote that there is no compelling reason for the government to put "In God We trust" in U.S. coins and currency bills. Newdon feels confident that the lawsuit will prosper under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) because he claims that the Supreme Court Justices involved in past RFRA cases would agreed with his contention.
Newdow's lawsuit is a revival of a case he filed and lost in 2010 when the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld that the phrase "I God We Trust" in U.S. coins and currencies is does not violate the United States constitution.