In God We Trust

1984 Words8 Pages
The debate over "In God We Trust" and "Under God"
Brad Marendt
Western International University
Com 112
Cyndy Woods, Ph.D.
March 19, 2006

There has been a great deal of debate since the United States of America became a nation over whether America 's current motto, "In God We Trust", and the words "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance are considered a violation of the first amendment. The first amendment says that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion…" (U.S. Constitution, Retrieved from Cornell Law School) Over the years the phrase "separation of church and state" has been used as the interpretation of the first amendment, although none of the words from the phrase are used in the first amendment.
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Its use is of a patriotic or ceremonial character and bears no true resemblance to a governmental sponsorship of a religious exercise. (Reynolds, 1997)
There have been numerous other appeals with the same outcome as Aronow v. United States. The general consensus of the courts is that the phrase is primarily secular and is to be used as a patriotic phrase.
In 2002 Sacramento Doctor and atheist, Michael Newdow won a hearing at the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals which deemed it unconstitutional for the Pledge of Allegiance to be mandatory in public schools. In 2004 Dr. Newdow also appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court to have "Under God" removed from the Pledge of Allegiance altogether. In response to Justice Stephen G. Breyer, when asked "if it 's possible that including "under God" in the Pledge is such a broad and generic use of religion by the government that it is meant to include even non-believers:" (Church & State, 2004) Dr. Newdow stated:
I don 't think that I can include ‘under God ' to mean ‘no God, ' which is exactly what I think," he said. " I deny the existence of God, and for someone to tell me that ‘under God ' should mean some broad thing that even encompasses my religious beliefs sounds a little, you know, it seems like the
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