The Supreme Court rejected hearing a case to remove the phrase “In God We Trust” from US currency on Monday.
The case, brought on by an atheist activist, was also rejected at district and circuit court levels.
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Michael Newdow, the activist seeking to redesign the money to remove the US motto, claims that the phrase violates the separation of church and state. He has previously fought against schools having students recite the pledge of allegiance, as he opposes the phrase “under God.”
“Petitioners are Atheists. As such, they fervidly disagree with the religious idea that people should trust in God. On the contrary, their sincere religious belief is that trusting in any God is misguided. Thus, by mandating the inscription of facially religious text (i.e., ‘In God We Trust’) on every coin and currency bill, Defendants have turned Petitioners – among whom are nine children – into ‘political outsiders’ on the basis of their most fundamental religious tenet. Moreover, Defendants have conditioned receipt of the important benefit of using the nation’s sole ‘legal tender’ upon conduct proscribed by Petitioners’ Atheism (i.e., upon Petitioners’ personally bearing – and proselytizing – a religious message that is directly contrary to the central idea that underlies their religious belief system),” the complaint reads.
Newdow had previously attempted to remove the motto from currency in 2014, but lost.
“The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in its ruling last August against Mr. Newdow said the Establishment Clause of the Constitution doesn’t force the government to purge itself from all religious reflection,” the Washington Times reports. “Precluding general references to God would do exactly that,” the federal appeals court ruled.