From The Daily Wire: “The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Paul, Minnesota upheld the use of “In God We Trust” on currency after 29 atheists, children of atheists, and atheist groups claimed the motto violated their First Amendment rights.
“The court deemed the use of the motto constitutional in a 3-0 decision, claiming that it was not coercive and has been in longstanding use, according to Reuters.
“Circuit Judge Raymond Gruender reportedly cited a 2014 Supreme Court decision that required a review of “historical practices” and said that the motto does not constitute an establishment of religion. He reportedly also said that the motto “comports with early understandings of the Establishment Clause” because our constitution allows the government to celebrate “our tradition of religious freedom.’”
From Yahoo: “While other courts have allowed the motto’s use on currency, Circuit Judge Raymond Gruender said it also did not constitute an establishment of religion under a 2014 Supreme Court decision requiring a review of “historical practices.”
“Gruender said the Constitution lets the government celebrate “our tradition of religious freedom,” and that putting the motto on currency “comports with early understandings of the Establishment Clause” without compelling religious observance.
“In God We Trust” began appearing on U.S. coins in 1864 during the Civil War, a period of increased religious sentiment, and was added to paper currencies by the mid-1960s. ((https://www.treasury.gov/about/education/Pages/in-god-we-trust.aspx))
“President Dwight Eisenhower signed a law making the phrase the national motto in 1956.”
Judge Raymond Gruender, an appointee of President George W. Bush, who wrote the court’s opinion, noted instances from the nation’s founding in which the Founding Fathers referenced God or religion. It was affirmed, in full by Judge C. Arlen Beam, who was nominated by President Reagan:
“For example, ‘[t]he First Congress made it an early item of business to appoint and pay official chaplains, and both the House and Senate have maintained the office virtually uninterrupted since that time,’” Gruender wrote. “… The ‘day after the First Amendment was proposed, Congress urged President Washington to proclaim a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts, the many and signal favours of Almighty God.’”
“Those examples and others “shed light on the historical understandings of religion’s role in American life,” Gruender wrote.
“As the Supreme Court has proclaimed time and again,” he wrote, “our ‘unbroken history’ is replete with these kinds of official acknowledgments … which ‘demonstrate that there is a distance between the acknowledgment of a single Creator and the establishment of a religion.’”
“Convenience may lead some Plaintiffs to carry cash, but nothing compels them to assert their trust in God. Certainly no ‘reasonable observer’ would think that the Government is attempting to force citizens to express trust in God with every monetary transaction,” Gruender wrote.