November 1, 2011
Congressman J. Randy Forbes (VA-04), Chairman of the Congressional Prayer Caucus, has released the following statement upon the House of Representatives' passage by a vote of 396 - 9 of his bipartisan resolution reaffirming 'In God We Trust' as the official national motto of the United States:
"In 1956, at the time of the United States Congress' adoption of 'In God We Trust' as our nation's official motto, Senator Holland (D-FL) argued that 'it will be of great spiritual and psychological value to our country to have a clearly designated national motto of inspirational quality.' In the decades since the 84th Congress promulgated 'In God We Trust' as our official national motto, a growing, disturbing pattern of inaccuracy and omissions regarding the motto has arisen in the public square from speeches made by the President of the United States in foreign nations, to the sanitization of 'In God We Trust' from the half-billion dollar Capitol Visitor Center by American historians. Today, as in other times of division and difficulty in our nation's history, the House of Representatives again reaffirmed 'In God We Trust' as our official motto and in so doing, provided clarity amidst a cloud of confusion about our nation's spiritual heritage and offered inspiration to an American people that face challenges of historic proportion."
Why Reaffirm 'In God We Trust'?
President Obama inaccurately proclaimed 'E Pluribus Unum' as our national motto. Last November before a worldwide audience, in a much-anticipated and much-publicized speech focusing on the United States' relationship with the Muslim world, President Obama falsely proclaimed that our national motto was E pluribus unum. The President failed to respond to congressional entreaties to issue a correction; the uncorrected transcript remains on the White House website. Read more.
Misunderstanding of the phrase "Separation of Church and State". The Supreme Court has held, “The First Amendment, however, does not say that in every and all respects there shall be a separation of Church and State. . . We find no constitutional requirement which makes it necessary for government to be hostile to religion.” The words ‘separation of church and state’ do not appear in the U.S. Constitution. Rather, the phrase originates from a letter penned by Thomas Jefferson on January 1, 1802, to the Danbury Baptist Association. Read more here.
Inaccuracies and omissions in the half-billion-dollar Capitol Visitor Center. In 2008, the over half-billion dollar Capitol Visitor Center opened for the purpose of educating over 15,000 Capitol visitors daily on the “legislative process as well as the history and development of the architecture and art of the U.S. Capitol.” Yet, Capitol Visitor Center historians had sanitized the public building of any references to our national motto, including replacing the inscription of ‘In God We Trust,’ inscribed above the Speaker’s Rostrum with stars in a replica of the House Chamber and cropping an actual picture of the chamber so you could not see the words ‘In God We Trust.’ Only until Members of Congress intervened publically and legislatively were these omissions and inaccuracies corrected. Read more here.
Efforts to remove God from the public domain by unelected bureaucrats.
- Department of Veterans Affairs attempted to ban flag folding recitations at military funerals that referenced God or religion, even if specifically requested by the family of the deceased.
- U.S. Mint attempted to remove the inscription 'In God We Trust' from the front of the new Presidential dollar and instead intended to print it on the edge of the coin.
- Attempt of Navy and Air Force to enact policies affecting ability of military chaplains to pray according to their religious conscience.
- Architect of the Capitol refused a teen's request for a certificate noting his grandfather's "love of God, country and family" to accompany a souvenir flag that had flown over the building. Read more here.
Read more about the patterns of inaccuracies and omissions surrounding our national motto, 'In God We Trust,' as well as its long national history here.
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