OUR NATIONAL MOTTO
In God We Trust, originating during the Civil War as an inscription for United States coins, was first contemplated by the Reverend M. R. Watkinson of Ridleyville, Pennsylvania, a deeply concerned churchman who in 1861 wrote to the Secretary of the Treasury, Salmon P. Chase.
The letter read: "From my heart I have felt our national shame in disowning God as not the least of our present national disasters." The clergyman then suggested "recognition of the Almighty God in some form on our coins."
Secretary Chase, in complete accord, ordered designs prepared with the inscription "In God We Trust." It first appeared on some U.S. coins in 1864, then appeared and disappeared until 1955, when Congress ordered it placed on all paper money and coins.
In 1956 "In God We Trust" was designated as the United States national motto and was signed into law during the presidency of Dwight D. Eisenhower.
There are those who would exclude God entirely from the American way of life even though dependence on God was first permanently established by our Founding Fathers in the preparation of the Constitution. Such permanence has been affirmed and reaffirmed in the context of assertions by many of our greatest statesmen, churchmen, authors and poets.
We have the undeniable and indisputable claim that America is the only country in the world founded with an implicit faith in God. The last sentence of the Declaration of Independence states: "And for the support of this Declaration with a firm reliance on the Protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other, our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor."
In view of the Supreme Court's ruling banning the word "God" from prayer recitations in public schools, it's comforting to know "In God We Trust" continues as our national motto.
We shall continue to affirm our unqualified reliance on God and joyously acclaim, "In God We Trust."