Wicker Effort Restores “In God We Trust" To $1 Coin

October 20, 2008

Earlier this month, because of legislation I authored last year, the U.S. Mint unveiled the design of four new presidential $1 coins with the words “In God We Trust” returned to prominent display on the face of the coins.  The phrase had initially been placed on the rim of the coin, obscuring it from view.  These four important words - comprising our national motto and representing an important part of our country’s culture and history – should not have been hidden on the side of new U.S. coins.

Religious faith has unfortunately come under attack in the public arena.  Restoring “In God We Trust” on the face of these new coins was an important victory for everyone who recognizes the role our Creator has played in shaping our nation.         

                              PRESIDENTIAL ONE DOLLAR COINS
In 2007, the U.S. Mint began producing $1 coins that honored former U.S. presidents.  Starting last year with coins honoring the first four presidents, the Mint’s plan is to release four new coins each year through 2016, honoring presidents in the order they served.

After learning last year that these coins were being minted with the phrase “In God We Trust” virtually hidden on the edge of coin, I authored an amendment – then as a member of the House of Representatives – to change it.  I shared with my colleagues that I believed it was wrong to obscure these important, symbolic words from view, and my legislation was adopted with a bipartisan vote of 295-127.

                                     STRONG NATIONAL HISTORY
The phrase “In God We Trust” is a prominent part of American history.  During the War of 1812, as the battle-torn American flag flew high above Fort McHenry, Francis Scott Key wrote: “And this be our motto: ‘In God is our trust.’”  Over the years, these words have changed slightly but the meaning has stayed the same.  In 1956, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the law officially establishing “In God We Trust” as our nation’s motto. 

The phrase is also nothing new to our currency.  In fact, “In God We Trust” has been displayed on U.S. currency for 144 years, having first appeared on the two-cent coin in 1864.

                                            COUNTRY OF FAITH
In recent years there have been widely-publicized attempts to strike any phrase bearing the word God from public life.  One California man sued to remove the words “under God” from our Pledge of Allegiance.  This same man later took aim at our country’s currency, filing a new lawsuit to remove “In God We Trust” from our coins and paper money. 

These misguided efforts fail to recognize the historical role religion has played in helping shape our country.  I believe faith in God has been a lantern that has helped guide America, and as your senator, I will continue standing against efforts to purge religious faith from public life in our country.