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Thursday, November 19, 2009

"In God We Trust" at the Capitol Visitors Center

In chapter 5, we discuss the role of religion in American public life, including the presence of religious language and symbolism on public property. Roll Call reports a relevant development:
More than 40 Republicans have signed a legal brief opposing a lawsuit that aims to remove the engravings of “In God We Trust” and the Pledge of Allegiance from the walls of the Capitol Visitor Center. The Freedom From Religion Foundation — the nation’s largest group of atheists and agnostics — filed the lawsuit in July, soon after Congress passed a bill approving the engravings. The project, they claim, is unconstitutional because Congress is using taxpayer money to endorse religion. But in their amicus brief, the Members argue that “In God We Trust” and the Pledge “accurately reflect the historical fact that this nation was founded upon a belief in God.” The friend-of-the-court brief also calls the lawsuit a “crusade” that “serves no purpose other than to waste judicial resources at a time in our Nation’s history when those resources are needed in cases involving real threats to American liberties.”