Ultimately, people of all religions and none should feel like they are a part of the United States without having to profess a trust in God. Those who do trust in God should be able to express that belief freely, so long as they do not abuse the law to impose their religious beliefs on others.
Sixty-five years ago tomorrow, President Dwight Eisenhower signed into law a resolution that enshrined “In God We Trust” as our nation’s official motto.
“In God We Trust” is the nation’s first official motto — the de facto motto “E Pluribus Unum” (out of many, one) was never legally codified. That same day, July 30, 1956, the 84th Congress also passed a measure to require all American currency to include “In God We Trust,” which is why your Abe Lincolns and Alexander Hamiltons have the phrase on their backsides.
The phrase first appeared on U.S. coins to respond to increased religiosity during the Civil War, being stamped on a two-cent coin issued in 1864. After appearing on most coins until 1873, the motto disappeared but would sometimes reappear. It wasn’t until the Eisenhower administration that it was permanently enshrined on American currency.