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In God We Trust 


The national motto of the United States of America, “In God We Trust", had its’ genesis in 1814 when Francis Scott Key wrote in the final stanza of the Star Spangle Banner, “and this be our motto- In God is our Trust.”  Around 1861, Supreme Court Chief Justice Chase wrote in a letter to the Director of the Mint and stated, “No nation can be strong except in the strength of God, or safe, except in His defense. The trust of our people in God should be declared on our national coins.” The motto evolved from “God our Trust” in 1862 to :God and our Country” in 1863, and eventually into “In God We Trust” in 1865 when Congress enacted legislation authorizing the phrase on our coinage. In 1931 Congress passed the act designation “the composition consisting of the words and music known as the Star Spangled Banner” as our National Anthem and then in 1955 mandated the inscription “In God We Trust” on all coins and paper currency. The sponsoring Congressman of the 1955 act stated in part that, “in these days when imperialistic and materialistic communism seeks to attack and to destroy freedom, it is proper for us to seek continuously for ways to strengthen the foundation of our freedom. At the base of our freedom is our faith in God.”


There can be no doubt about whether our founding fathers wanted this nation of America to be a nation of God. The following quotes are only a few of many examples which testify to the original intentions of the founders.


Man will ultimately be governed  by God or by tyrants. - Benjamin Franklin


The highest glory of the American Revolution was this; it connected  in one indissoluble bond the principles of civil government with the principles of Christianity. - John Quincey Adams


It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded not by religionists but by Christians, not on religion but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We shall not fight alone. God presides over the destinies of nations. - Patrick Henry


That religion, or the duty we owe to our Creator, and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence; and therefore all men are equally entitled to the free exercise of religion, according to the dictates of conscience. - Virginia Bill of Rights, June 12, 1776


Our laws and our institutions must necessarily be based upon and embody the teachings of the Redeemer of Mankind. It is impossible that it should be otherwise; and in this sense and to this extent our civilization and our institutions are emphatically Christian… This is a religious people. This is historically true. From the discovery of this continent to the present hour, there is a single voice making this affirmation… we find everywhere a clear recognition of the same truth. These and many other matters which might be noticed, add a volume of unofficial declarations to the mass of organic utterances that this is a Christian nation. - U.S. Supreme Court, 1892


“It is the duty of all wise, free, and virtuous governments to countenance and encourage virtue and religion.” – John Jay, First Supreme Court Chief Justice and one of the authors of the Federalist Papers


“Religion and morality are the essential pillars of civil society.” – George Washington


“Whereas true religion and good morals are the only solid foundation of public liberty and happiness…it is hereby earnestly recommended to the several states to take the most effectual measures for the encouragement thereof.” – Continental Congress, 1778


“Religion is the only solid basis of good morals; therefore education should teach the precepts of religion, and the duties of man toward God.” – Gouverneur Morris, Signer of the Articles of Confederation and U.S Constitution, penman of the Constitution, U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania


“While we give praise to God, the supreme disposer of all events…let us guard against the dangerous error of trusting in, or boasting of, an arm of flesh.” – John Witherspoon, Signer of the Declaration of Independence


“Direct my thought, words and work, wash away my sins in the immaculate Blood of the Lamb, and purge my heart by Thy Holy Spirit… Daily frame me more and more into the likeness of Thy Son Jesus Christ.” – George Washington


“Remember that God is our only sure trust.” – Mary Washington


“If we work on marble, it will perish; if on brass, time will efface it; if we rear up temples, they will crumble into dust; but if we work upon immortal minds and imbue them with principle, with the just fear of God and the love of our fellow men, we engrave on those tablets something that will brighten to eternity.” – Daniel Webster


“We think it is incumbent upon the people to humble themselves before God on account of their sins…(and) also to implore His divine blessing upon us, that by the assistance of His grace , we may be enable to reform whatever is amiss among us, so that God may be pleased to continue to give us the blessings we enjoy.” – John Hancock, First signer of the Declaration of Independence


“Remember ever, and always, that your country was founded…by the stern old Puritans who made the deck of the Mayflower an altar of the living God, and whose first act on touching the soil of the new world was to offer on bended knees thanksgiving to Almighty God.” – Henry Wilson, 18th U.S. Vice President under Ulysses S. Grant


For related information on where all 50 states stand regarding God and state, see the Sundry page on this site.