"In God We Trust" Takes its Place as the Next Church-State Debate

May 25, 2005

Source: The Christian Science Monitor


On May 25, 2005 The Christian Science Monitor reported, "the words appear on every dollar bill and US coin. They are displayed at the entrance to the US Senate and above the Speaker's chair in the House. But when local officials in North Carolina placed 'In God We Trust' on the front of the Davidson County Government Center, they soon found themselves in federal court facing a complaint that they were violating the separation of church and state... The display was mounted in 18-inch letters that passing motorists could see on nearby Interstate 85... The case is one of an array of church-state battles across the country seeking to establish a bedrock answer to a difficult constitutional question: To what extent may the government bring God into the public square? It is more than crosses, crèches, and menorahs. Last year the US Supreme Court considered whether repeating the words 'under God' in the Pledge of Allegiance violates the First Amendment's prohibition of government establishment of religion. And the justices are currently weighing the constitutionality of displaying the Ten Commandments on public property in Texas and Kentucky. Decisions in the Ten Commandments cases could come as early as Monday, or, at the latest, by the end of next month."