In God We Trust

Congressman J. Randy Forbes
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Randy ForbesEverywhere you look today there is bad news. When I talk to people they tell me they are afraid because they do not know who they can trust. As President Ronald Reagan said, “The time has come to turn to God and reassert our trust in Him for the healing of America…Our country is in need of, and ready for, a spiritual renewal.”

“As President John Kennedy said, “The guiding principle and prayer of this Nation has been, is now, and ever shall be ‘In God We Trust.’””

In 1956 Congress made ‘‘In God We Trust’’ the official motto of the United States. But that belief has been an integral part of American society since the time of her founding. As President John Kennedy said, “The guiding principle and prayer of this Nation has been, is now, and ever shall be ‘In God We Trust.’”

Our Founders declared independence from Great Britain “with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.”

“Salmon P. Chase, Secretary of the Treasury, said “No nation can be strong except in the strength of God, or safe except in His defense.””

The fourth stanza of a poem, ‘Defense for Fort McHenry,’ written by Francis Scott Key in 1814, includes the line: “And this be our motto: ‘In God is our trust.’” Key’s poem was later renamed “The Star Spangled Banner.”

In 1861, in making the decision to inscribe a motto on United States coins, Salmon P. Chase, Secretary of the Treasury, said “No nation can be strong except in the strength of God, or safe except in His defense.” In 1864, Congress passed legislation that directed the Mint to develop designs for one and two-cent coins, and ‘In God We Trust’ first appeared on the 1864 two-cent coin.

“If we can succeed in getting ‘In God We Trust’ engraved in the United States Capitol Visitor Center, I believe we can succeed in engraving that motto on the hearts of Americans once again.”

In times of national challenge or tragedy, we have turned to God as our source for sustenance, protection, wisdom, strength, and direction. On the evening of D-Day, June 6, 1944, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, prayed “Help us, Almighty God, to rededicate ourselves in renewed faith in Thee in this hour of great sacrifice… As we rise to each new day, and again when each day is spent, let words of prayer be on our lips, invoking Thy help to our efforts.”

I have introduced H.Con.Res.274, to reaffirm our national motto. If we can succeed in getting ‘In God We Trust’ engraved in the United States Capitol Visitor Center, I believe we can succeed in engraving that motto on the hearts of Americans once again.

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Congressman J. Randy Forbes represents the 4th District of Virginia. He is founder and chairman of the Congressional Prayer Caucus, a bipartisan group of over 60 members of Congress whose purpose is to protect America’s religious heritage and the right of all Americans to pray according to their faith. Forbes, along with Members of the Prayer Caucus, led efforts to ensure that “In God We Trust” was included in the newly constructed Capitol Visitor Center after it had been removed and the national motto incorrectly noted as “E Pluribus Unum.”

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