A new lawsuit is trying to get the phrase “In God We Trust” removed from U.S. currency.
The phrase is one of several prominently featured on the currency.
Sacramento attorney Michael Newdow filed the lawsuit on Jan. 11 in Akron, Ohio. He’s representing 41 plaintiffs from Ohio and Michigan.
The lawsuit says the phrase is “unconstitutional” and violates the separation of church and state.
“The ‘In G-d We Trust’ phrase has continued to be a tool used to perpetuate favoritism for (Christian) Monotheism,” the suit contends. “It has also continued to perpetuate anti-Atheistic bias.”
One of the plaintiffs claims his atheism is “substantially burdened because he is forced to bear on his person a religious statement that causes him to sense his government legitimizing, promoting and reinforcing negative and injurious attitudes not only against Atheists in general, but against him personally.”
But Jay Sekulow, chief counsel of the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), which focuses on constitutional law, wrote in an article published by Fox News that the lawsuit will fail.
“Our nation’s history is replete with examples of acknowledgment of religious belief in the public sector, and the Supreme Court has repeatedly referenced the national motto as a legitimate expression of our religious heritage,” he wrote.
“The Establishment Clause was never intended as a guarantee that a person will not be exposed to religion or religious symbols on public property, and the Supreme Court has rejected previous attempts to eradicate all symbols of this country’s religious heritage from the public’s view.
“Whether it is in the national motto, the Pledge of Allegiance, patriotic music, or the nation’s founding documents; such references are wholly consistent with the First Amendment. It’s very likely this new suit will be rejected by the courts—adding to a long list of failures for Newdow.”