Urgent: Tell the House to Reject Divisive “In God We Trust” Resolution
November 1, 2011
As you may have heard, the U.S. House of Representatives is set Tuesday afternoon to vote on a resolution reaffirming “In God We Trust” as the national motto. The non-binding resolution, H. Con. Res. 13, would also promote the display of “In God We Trust” in public schools and other public buildings.
At a time when Congress is confronted with multiple pressing national issues, it is irresponsible to use faith as a political tool to divide the nation along religious lines. The House should reject this hollow, symbolic gesture toward monotheistic faith, and focus on more important issues.
Congress only adopted “In God We Trust” as the national motto in 1956, when American leaders sought to distinguish the United States from the communist Soviet Union. Yet the motto divides the American populace along religious lines and reinforces the outsider status of the nation’s many nonbelievers, as well as members of minority religions that do not recognize a monotheistic god (including, for example, Buddhists and Hindus). Polls show that 16 percent of Americans have no religious identity, while over 40 million Americans do not identify with a monotheistic God.
A far better motto for the nation is the Latin motto adopted in 1782 as part of the national seal: “E Pluribus Unum,” or “Out of many, one.” America’s original motto accurately describes the nation as a unity comprising people from many religious perspectives.