US Satanist loses ‘In God We Trust’ currency case

Printing ‘In God We Trust’ on US currency does not force a Satanist to spread Christianity, federal judges have ruled.

Chief Judge Diane Wood threw out a lawsuit from Kenneth Mayle, who claims he is compelled to use notes and coins because credit and debit cards are too ‘high risk’.

Judge Wood said the motto “is one of many historical reminders” that a reasonable observer would not perceive “as a religious endorsement”.


Mayle, who says he may appeal the ruling, claimed the inscription was “an attack” on the rights of non-monotheistic believers.

US Dollar

He argued numerous laws or principles were being flouted, including the First Amendment and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA).

But the 7th US Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago backed previous rulings in favour of the slogan.

Religious significance

Judge Wood wrote that the “national motto” is “neither unconstitutional nor a violation of RFRA”.

“We do so not because we think that the phrase ‘In God We Trust’ is absolutely devoid of religious significance, but instead because the religious content that it carries does not go beyond statutory or constitutional boundaries.”

The motto has previously been attacked by an atheist who also claimed it violated the First Amendment.

Biblical reference

And in 2013, the Freedom From Religion Foundation was defeated in its case to remove “In God We Trust” from currency.

Psalm 56:11 states: “In God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” and the motto first appeared on US currency in 1864, when Abraham Lincoln was President.