We were wrong!

Yes. You read that right.  We were wrong.

We were wrong all this time in saying In God We Trust is a religious phrase.

I know you have a lot of questions for us like “Have you lost your mind?” or “Are you being held against your will?”

To be honest, no to both. What we have realized is that we have been taking on this battle the wrong way and we have finally given in to the argument that it is just “

There is a lot of court precedent to back this up so let’s get started on that.

Wikipedia says the following about the cases.
Aronow v. United States in 1970, but the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled: “It is quite obvious that the national motto and the slogan on coinage and currency ‘In God We Trust’ has nothing whatsoever to do with the establishment of religion. Its use is of patriotic or ceremonial character and bears no true resemblance to a governmental sponsorship of a religious exercise.”

In Lynch v. Donnelly (1984), the Supreme Court wrote that acts of “ceremonial deism” are “protected from Establishment Clause scrutiny chiefly because they have lost through rote repetition any significant religious content”

Newdow v. Congress of the United States (C.D. Cal. 2006), “The national motto is excluded from First Amendment significance because the motto ‘has no theological or ritualistic impact’ and is of a purely secular, ‘patriotic’ and ‘ceremonial character.’ ” The words In God We Trust, he said, constitute in effect “a secular national slogan.”


With case after case coming in with much the same decision, we can no longer hold our previous position of In God We Trust being a religious phrase.

But we are not done with this phrase, not by a long shot.

Since the phrase is obviously not a Christian phrase and the courts have said this time and time again, Christians are no longer allowed to use it as a justification that our nation is founded on Christianity in any sense.  It would just be untrue to say that.

The same goes for “under God” in the pledge.  The logic just doesn’t play out.

So from now on whenever we go to a city council meeting or get into a debate and someone tries to use the Christian Nation defense, we are just going to inform them of the true nature of In God We Trust.  We aren’t going to let them get away with the lie anymore.

And we are asking that you do the same. Tell them that it can’t be use to justify any sort of religious nature of our nation.  The courts said it didn’t and that is what we are going with.

Now that you have read that, don’t worry, we aren’t really wrong. Just tired  of seeing Christians try to play both side of this coin.  We really feel it is time to start calling them out. Make them choose an argument instead of hiding behind the courts.

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.