The 8th District Court in Minnesota rejected the claim by a group of atheists, who demanded that the phrase In God We Trust be removed from banknotes and coins. The claimants pointed out that the inscribing violates the first amendment to the US Constitution, which guarantees freedom of religion.
Judge Raymond Grunder disagreed with the plaintiffs, citing a 2014 ruling of the Supreme Court, in a suit where the plaintiff opposed the traditional reading of the prayer before the legislative assembly in Nebraska. The Supreme Court then dismissed the complaint, pointing to deeply rooted traditions.
Judge Grunder pointed out that the phrase inscribed on banknotes and coins corresponds to the ideas about the freedom of religion of past generations and does not contradict the legislation.
The ‘In God We Trust’ inscription first appeared on US coins during the Civil War in 1864 on the initiative of the Treasury. The latter agreed with the arguments of a Baptist priest who offered to mention God on money “for the sake of fighting the Gentiles”. It was put on paper currencies in the mid-1960s
The reason for this was the decision of the Congress adopted in 1956 to make In God We Trust a national motto. The bill’s sponsors then wanted to emphasize the religiosity of Americans as opposed to state atheism in the USSR.
The lawyer for the plaintiffs Michael Newdow, who is known for his anti-clerical views, in an email condemned the court ruling as utterly revolting.