As you may have heard, religious conservatives in the U.S. House of Representatives have introduced a divisive and disrespectful resolution "reaffirming" In God We Trust as the national motto. The non-binding resolution, H. Con. Res. 13, would also promote
the display of "In God We Trust" in public schools and other public
This obvious ploy to divide the nation along religious lines is utterly shameful. It excludes the millions of American non-believers, as well as the millions of Americans of minority religions that do not believe in a monotheistic god. The resolution also distracts Congress's attention from the many pressing national issues confronting it.
Congress only adopted "In God We Trust" as the
national motto in 1956, when American leaders sought to distinguish the United
States from the communist Soviet
Union. By invoking belief in a
monotheistic divinity, however, Congress divided the American populace along
religious lines by reinforcing the outsider status of the nation's many
nonbelievers, as well as members of minority religions that do not recognize a
monotheistic god (including, for example, Buddhists and Hindus). Polls show that 16% of Americans have
no religious identity, while over 40 million Americans do not identify with the
motto's monotheistic God.
A far better motto for the nation is the Latin motto adopted
in 1782 as part of the national seal: "E Pluribus Unum," or "Out
of many, one." America's
original motto accurately describes the nation as a unity comprising people
from many religious perspectives.
Tell your Representative to oppose this
divisive and unnecessary symbolic gesture, which distracts Congress's attention from
important national issues.
Vote Against Divisive Resolution Promoting Display of "In God We Trust"
Dear [Decision Maker],
As a friend of the Center for Inquiry, I ask that you strongly oppose H. Con. Res. 13, a divisive resolution that would promote the display of "In God We Trust" in public schools and other public buildings.
Sincerely,[Your Name] [Your Address] [City, State ZIP]
©2013 Center for Inquiry | Office of Public Policy
3965 Rensch Road · Amherst, N.Y. · 14228
(716) 636-4869 · firstname.lastname@example.org