Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Court Rejects Challenge To "In God We Trust" On Currency

In Newdow v. United States, (SD NY, Sept. 9, 2013), a New York federal district court rejected Establishment Clause and free exercise challenges by atheists and secular humanists to the government's placing of the words "In God We Trust" on U.S. currency. The court held that "the inclusion of the motto on U.S. currency satisfies the purpose and effect tests enunciated in Lemon, and does not violate the Establishment Clause." In rejecting challenges under the free exercise clause and RFRA, the court concluded:
While Plaintiffs may be inconvenienced or offended by the appearance of the motto on currency, these burdens are a far cry from the coercion, penalty, or denial of benefits required under the "substantial burden" standard.
(See prior related posting.)

3 comments:

NobleStarr said...

You know it's going to be a bad decision when Judge Harold Baer, Jr. can't even quote the Establishment Clause correctly AND bites the poisonous apple when he states that "The Supreme Court has repeatedly assumed the motto's secular purpose and effect" -- which is blatantly false. Let's be honest: the motto is an expression of Christian dominion. It absolutely has a singularly religious purpose. As a secular nation, religion has no legitimate purpose in governmental affairs. "Solemnizing public occasions" is a sham secular purpose. There are an abundance of secular ways to solemnize public occasions. "Expressing confidence in the future" -- stretches our imagination beyond fiction. And "encouraging the recognition of what is worth" -- how does that not have the purpose and effect of advancing religion. Judge Baer's decision lacks an iota of credibility.

NobleStarr said...

I apologize. Yes, Judge Baer's correct that some members of the Supreme Court have expressed the opinion the IGWT motto has a secular purpose and effect, but NO the motto doesn't have a secular purpose and effect. It's purely a statement of religious belief which over 20% of Americans do not subscribe to.

jimbino said...

Doesn't there have to be a showing of "compelling gummint interest" before a person's religions-freedom rights are compromised?

I guess it's just enough to define the religious oppression as not "religious" at all. Like, moments of silence and yoga aren't religious, but fiddling with rosary beads is?