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Federal Judge Rejects Satanist Lawsuit against Phrase 'In God We Trust'

Federal Judge Rejects Satanist Lawsuit against Phrase 'In God We Trust'

Federal judges say the phrase “In God We Trust” on U.S. currency does not force Satanists to spread Christianity.

Chief Judge Diane Wood rejected a lawsuit from Kenneth Mayle, who says he uses only bills and coins because credit and debit cards are too “high risk.”

Mayle, who says he in a “nontheistic Satanist,” said the inscription on the currency was an “attack” on the rights of non-believers. He filed the federal lawsuit in May 2017.

Wood, however, said the phrase is “one of many historical reminders” that an outside observer would not perceive “as a religious endorsement.”

She said it was also not a violation of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act nor unconstitutional.∑

“We do so not because we think that the phrase ‘In God We Trust’ is absolutely devoid of religious significance, but instead because the religious content that it carries does not go beyond statutory or constitutional boundaries,” she said.

Said Mayle: “I definitely have some problems with their (the court’s) logic.”

In 1977, the Supreme Court ruled that people who use U.S. currency are not advertising the phrase because money “is generally carried in a purse or pocket, and need not be displayed to the public.”

In 2013, the Freedom From Religion Foundation tried unsuccessfully to remove the phrase from U.S. currency.

The phrase comes from Psalm 56:11, which says “In God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?”

The motto first appeared on currency in 1864 during President Abraham Lincoln’s term.


Photo courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

Publication date: June 12, 2018