The U.S House of Representatives voted 396-9 on November 1 to affirm “In God We Trust” as the official national motto of the United States. Reported the New York Times: “The resolution … is designed to clear up any confusion over the motto’s official status and to encourage schools and other public institutions to display it, said Representative J. Randy Forbes, Republican of Virginia and the measure’s sponsor.” Forbes explained that “what’s happened over the last several years is that we have had a number of confusing situations in which some who don’t like the motto have tried to convince people not to put it up.”
In a press release Forbes noted that like the U.S. Senate, which in 2006 used the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the motto to reaffirm its importance to America’s national fabric, the House had a responsibility to do the same. “As our nation faces challenging times,” Forbes said, “it is appropriate for Members of Congress and our nation—like our predecessors—to firmly declare our trust in God, believing that it will sustain us for generations to come.”
Forbes, who also serves as co-chair of the Congressional Prayer Caucus, said that in the 55 years since Congress made “In God We Trust” the official national motto, “a growing, disturbing pattern of inaccuracy and omissions regarding the motto has arisen in the public square, from speeches made by the President of the United States in foreign nations, to the sanitization of ‘In God We Trust’ from the half-billion dollar Capitol Visitor Center by American historians.” He said that in re-affirming the motto Congress had “provided clarity amidst a cloud of confusion about our nation’s spiritual heritage and offered inspiration to an American people that face challenges of historic proportion.”
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