An Ohio atheist has filed a lawsuit to have “In God We Trust” removed from the United States currency. Michael Newdow has history of utilizing the legal system in a quest to remove any reference to God or Christianity from government buildings, public spaces, and off of traditional and iconic symbols associated with America.
Michael Newdow is an attorney and physician Akron, Ohio. Earlier this week, the atheist filed his most recent lawsuit and claimed that the “In God We Trust” motto violates the separation of church and state text on the United States Constitution, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports.
— Mike Airward (@AtheistAir) January 12, 2016
The atheist activist filed a 112-page lawsuit on behalf of 41 plaintiffs, which include “unnamed children and and adults,” and the Northern Ohio Freethought Society, the Blaze reports. Newdown alleged that the presence of the motto gives an “unfair advantage” to Christians, according to court documents filed in the case. Newdow’s lawsuit claims that the In God We Trust motto on U.S. currency perpetuates a bias against atheists.
— Shingi Mushipe (@shingimushipe) July 10, 2015
The currently pending lawsuit follows a failed attempt by Michael Newdow and the Freedom From Religion Foundation to sue the U.S. Treasury Department to remove the motto from our money. A Southern District of New York judge ruled against the atheists and stated that claims the In God We Trust motto violates the First Amendment not a valid argument.
In the following video, Michael Newdow talks about pending legal actions to further his atheist ideals.
After the loss, the Ohio atheist vowed to filed a series of lawsuits to push for the removal of the motto. In Newdow’s mind, the initial phrasing in the Bill of Rights supports his legal challenge.
The first words of the Bill of Rights reads as follows.
“Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion.”
Apparently, Newdow feels that the phrase on our currency equates to the government making a faith-based law which all citizens must follow. The National Center for Constitutional Studies outlines how the Judeo-Christian ethics of the Founding Fathers were infused throughout the documents upon which the country was built.
“Unfortunately, because Constitutional principles can be twisted and perverted, the challenges to this practice under the Establishment Clause have, so far, failed,” the Ohio atheist said. “This is because every Supreme Court justice involved in the three RFRA cases heard to date has agreed that, under RFRA, religious activity may not be substantially burdened without a compelling governmental interest and laws narrowly tailored to serve that interest.”
Newdow is urging others to join his battle to have In God We Trust removed from the U.S. currency and to become plaintiffs in lawsuits that have now been filed in at least seven different federal circuit courts. The Ohio atheist claims that many citizens feel the same way as he does about the matter, and do not want the government to force them to “carry a message that violates their religious ideals.” He likened an atheists packing dollar bills in their wallets to a Christian being ordered to wear an adornment with the words “Jesus is a lie” emblazoned on it.
The lawsuit claims that allowing the phrase In God We Trust to remain on currency is a violation of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993. The act bars any governmental agency or entity from “substantially burdening a person’s exercise of religion” except in scenarios where interest of the government is compelling or is the “least restrictive means” of furthering a government interest.
What do you think about the In God We Trust motto lawsuit filed by Ohio atheist Michael Newdow?
[Image via Shutterstock]