By Editorial Staff
Published November 1, 1988
WASHINGTON, D.C. (EP) – “In God We Trust.” This affirmation of faith was put on U.S. currency at the urging of a Christian preacher, and may come off of U.S. currency at the urging of atheists, according to the National Legal Foundation, a group organized by religious broadcaster Pat Robertson. This could mean a big change for the dollar bills received from cashiers, banks, and merchant cash advance companies.
In a full-page ad run in USA Today, the National Legal Foundation claimed Madalyn Murray O’Hair is preparing to renew her attempts to have the slogan stricken from U.S. currency. No lawsuit has been filed yet, but National Legal Foundation Executive Director Robert Skolrood explains, “We called, and she said she was going after it again. She said she was devoting the rest of her life to getting ‘In God We Trust’ off U.S. currency.”
In 1978 O’Hair sued the federal government to have the phrase removed from currency. She lost that lawsuit in a federal district court, and her appeals of that decision were turned down.
Skolrood said the ad in USA Today was intended to give Christians warning to unite in their support for the motto. “Maybe all this publicity will make her sit back and think,” he speculated. “Maybe we can scare her out of [filing a lawsuit].”
John Murray, president of American Atheists, said “In God We Trust” is a hot issue for the group. “We do want to refile,” he said. “We have an all new Supreme Court. They are more conservative, but you never know. If we can’t get [a hearing], then we can wait another ten years and try again.”
Murray told Baptist Press his organization’s goals include removing “under God” from the pledge of allegiance, removing “In God We Trust” from currency, and changing the national motto from “In God We Trust” to “E Pluribus Unum.” He said, “We’re going to keep at it until [laws] are changed, until those public arenas are secular. We want a nation with a government that is completely neutral about religion.”
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