The U.S. House of Representatives will vote Tuesday on a resolution to affirm the phrase “In God We Trust” as the nation’s official motto, according to Politico.
Rep. Randy Forbes (R-VA), the founder and chairman of the Congressional Prayer Caucus, sponsored the legislation. It would encourage the public display of the motto in all public buildings, public schools and government institutions.
Forbes said he introduced the bill in January because he was troubled by a pattern of omitting God from the nation’s heritage.
“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,” Forbes said.
“As our nation faces challenging times, 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.”
The resolution was approved by the House Judiciary Committee in March.
The legislation has 64 co-sponsors, including a handful of Democrats.
The phrase “In God We Trust” was made the official U.S. motto in 1956, one year after the phrase “under God” was incorporated into the Pledge of Allegiance.
Critics of the resolution said it violated the establishment clause of the Constitution, which states that “Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion.”
“The phrase ‘In God We Trust’ does not apply to the more than 16 percent of Americans who identify themselves as atheist, agnostic, nonreligious, or unaffiliated, and it does not apply to religious Americans who do not have Judeo-Christian beliefs,” said Sean Faircloth, executive director of the Secular Coalition for America. “Branding our secular country with a religious motto only creates division among its citizens and erodes the wall of separation between church and state.”
Forbes claimed the resolution addressed different religions across the country and was not “just about Christians.” He said the resolution is meant to affirm the importance of God in the heritage of the United States.
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