The United States Congress voted to affirm ‘In God We Trust’ as the nation’s motto on Tuesday, but critics have attacked the move as a ‘waste of time’ that distracts from the importance of debating the nation’s genuine economic problems.
Rep. Randy Forbes (R-VA) sponsored the move, arguing that it is important to provide clarity at a time of confusion. The vote passed easily by 396-9, but groups such as Americans United for Separation of Church and State have attacked the vote as at best pointless and, at worst, a dangerous move to push religion to the heart of government.
The phrase ‘In God We Trust’ has been the official US motto since 1956, and has been contentious ever since. There is a big debate in America at the moment about the role of religion in public life, and about whether politicians should use religion to get elected.