DC: A three-judge panel of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that the federal government can lawfully print “In God We Trust” on U.S. currency.
Though the result is a victory for those eager to preserve vestiges of religion in public life, conservative litigators warn the substance of the opinion could redound to the benefit of progressives.
The plaintiffs are a coalition of atheists, humanists, and a Jew who claim the motto’s appearance on U.S. currency burdens their deeply-held beliefs, in violation of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) and the First Amendment. The non-believing plaintiffs say the inscription forces them to carry and spread a message with which they disagree, while endorsing a religious position they hold to be false. The Jewish plaintiff says the epigraph compromises his religious practice to the extent that it implicates him in the unnecessary printing and destruction of God’s name, which is sinful under Mosaic law. read more