A federal court has ruled that printing "In God We Trust" on U.S. currency doesn't amount to a religious endorsement and therefore doesn't violate the U.S. Constitution. The Chicago Daily Law Bulletin reports the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago made the ruling Thursday in a lawsuit brought by a self-declared Satanist, Kenneth Mayle. He argued that the motto propagates a religious view he opposes.From the ruling:
A lower court tossed the suit citing a Supreme Court decision that a motto on currency isn't something people display prominently and thus that people are not forced to publicly advertise views that clash with their own.
The inclusion of the motto on currency is similar to other ways in which secular symbols give a nod to the nation’s religious heritage. Examples include the phrase “one nation under God,” which has been in the Pledge of Allegiance since 1954, see Pub. L. No. 83-396, ch. 297, 68 Stat. 249 (1954), as well as the National Day of Prayer, which has existed in various forms since the dawn of the country and is now codified at 36 U.S.C. § 119. Lynch, 465 U.S. at 676–77. Moreover, when the religious aspects of an activity account for “only a fraction,” the possibility that anyone could see it as an endorsement of religion is diluted. Freedom From Religion Found., Inc., 885 F.3d at 1047. In the case of currency, the motto is one of many historical reminders; others include portraits of presidents, state symbols, monuments, notable events such as the Louisiana Purchase, and the national bird. In this context, a reasonable observer would not perceive the motto on currency as a religious endorsement.