On Tuesday evening the U.S. House of Representatives will take a vote on a bipartisan resolution that seeks to reaffirm “In God We Trust” as America's national motto and encourage its display in public buildings, including schools and other government institutions.
The resolution was introduced by Congressman J. Randy Forbes (R-Va.) in January of this year, and is cosponsored by 64 bipartisan representatives going into Tuesday's vote.
"In 2006, on the 50th anniversary of its adoption, the Senate reaffirmed 'In God We Trust' as the official national motto of the United States. Tomorrow, the House of Representatives will have the same opportunity to reaffirm our national motto and directly confront a disturbing trend of inaccuracies and omissions, misunderstandings of church and state, rogue court challenges, and efforts to remove God from the public domain by unelected bureaucrats,” said Forbes, who serves as co-chairman of the Congressional Prayer Caucus, in a statement Monday.
The release highlights a number of “rogue court challenges” and other ways in which both individuals and government agencies have tried to remove any mention of God from the government. In 2008, historians at the Capitol Visitor Center, for example, removed any references to the motto from public view prior to its opening until members of Congress intervened.
It also mentions how last November, whether it was intentional or not, President Barack Obama incorrectly told a worldwide audience that America's motto is E pluribus unum (Out of Many, One) as part of a speech addressing the U.S. and its relationship with the Muslim world.
Though some may want to have the motto removed, at least from public sight, the text of the resolution points to history as its own support. It quotes the Declaration of Independence and a number of different U.S. presidents, who spoke highly of the importance of God in government.
President John F. Kennedy, for example, is quoted in the resolution as saying the motto of the U.S. is “the guiding principle and prayer of this nation.”
“If religion and morality are taken out of the marketplace of ideas,” the resolution reads, “the very freedom on which the United States was founded cannot be secured.”
Despite frequent accusations suggesting that even the mention of God in government is a violation of church-state separation, the Supreme Court determined in 1958 that the two mustn't necessarily be separated in “all respects,” nor does the government need to be “hostile” toward religion.
Forbes and other supporters of the resolution hope to establish that line of thinking once again.
“As our nation faces challenging times,” said Forbes, “it is appropriate for Members of Congress and our nation – like our predecessors – to firmly declare our trust in God, believing that it will sustain us for generations to come.”