November 1 2011 Congress Reaffirms the In God We Trust as our National Motto

Talking about the In God We Trust resolution Image via screenshot
Talking about the resolution
Image via screenshot

5 years ago, the House of Representatives took time out from their busy schedule to debate the most important thing going on in the nation that day.  The reaffirmation of In God We Trust as the .

Was it in jeopardy of being changed?

No, it has been enshrined in our laws since 1956 and replacing it has not been suggested?

Did the nation forget that it was the motto?

No, the Senate had just taken the same action 5 years earlier and it is on every piece of currency we use.

Then why was it even an issue?

Some think it was deflection from what needed the be accomplished, such as voting on a jobs bill, or talking about economic stimulus.

Others think it had a much more nefarious agenda.

As Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D) NY said during the debate;

Now, no one has threatened it. No one has said it was not the national motto. This resolution today, which has no force of law, simply restates the national motto–once again.

Why have my Republican friends returned to an irrelevant agenda? Irrelevant because it does nothing. It simply restates existing law that no one has questioned. Why are we debating nonbinding resolutions about the national motto?

This resolution is a waste of time, a waste of effort. And again, remember that this country is a country for all people–whether they are religious or not, whether they believe in God or not, whether they believe in one God or not. The First Amendment tells us we should make no law respecting establishment of religion nor prohibiting the free exercise thereof. This is not an establishment of religion, but simply restating this when no one has threatened it, when no one has questioned it. It is an exercise to tell people who may not believe in God: You don’t really count; you’re not really Americans.


Now we stand 5 years later, opposing this very same phrase that this resolution suggested being placed where it should not be.  We find In God We Trust in city council chambers, on county courthouses, on official letters from county tax collectors.  We see its use on law enforcement vehicles and most recently, we are seeing it placed in public school classrooms.

Below is a video of the debate held that day 5 years ago.  Listening to it will show exactly how In God We Trust is used to push a specific religion on the people.  The very members that proposed this useless resolution all but admitted it is a Christian phrase.


If the video doesn’t play, you can follow this direct link to CSPAN.

Robert Ray

Robert is the founder of The Original Motto Project. He is a avid secular activist that likes to dabble into small electronics in his spare time. He and his wife Amy co-host the Secular Yakking podcast. He lives in the Puget sound with his wife and 3 daughters.