An atheist lawyer from California has filed a federal lawsuit to have the national motto, “In God We Trust,” removed from American currency.
Sacramento-based lawyer Michael Newdow, 62, filed the lawsuit against the U.S. Congress and Treasury Department on Jan. 11, reported Christianity Daily. He says that the phrase “In God We Trust” is unconstitutional and violates the First Amendment as well as the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993.
According to Huffington Post, the lawsuit also says that one plaintiff in the 41-plaintiff case “handles U.S. currency almost daily" and that as "a Humanist, she does not believe nor trust in any g-d.” The lawsuit states that defendants have “substantially burdened Plaintiffs in the exercise of their Atheistic beliefs” by making them “personally bear a religious message that is the antithesis of what they consider to be religious truth.”
Newdow previously sued the federal government, unsuccessfully, to remove the phrase “under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance.
“There is obviously no compelling government interest in having 'In God We Trust' on our money,” Newdow wrote in a 2015 blog post for Patheos. “We did fine for the 75 years before the phrase was ever used at all, and continued to do fine for the subsequent 102 years before such inscriptions were made mandatory on every coin and currency bill.”