“In God We Trust” Topic Of Educational Presentation By Michael Fuljenz
Award-winning author and writer Mike Fuljenz discussed the motto "In God We Trust" as a featured educational seminar speaker at the American Numismatic Association National Money Show in Dallas, March 4, 2016.
“Some critics of ‘In God We Trust’ may be ignorant of the phrase’s legal history or are deliberately ignoring the rulings of courts and resolutions of Congress,” explained Fuljenz of Beaumont, Texas who has written award-winning articles about the national motto (www.INGODWETRUSTonmoney.com).
Commenting on the recent controversy about the motto’s placement on police vehicles in some communities, Fuljenz explained: “The patriotic motto has withstood a long line of legal challenges to appear on our money and on government-owned property. Courts have ruled that the motto can remain for ceremonial and patriotic reasons and tradition.”
“It first appeared on circulating United States coins in 1864. It has been on all our coins since 1938, became the only official national motto in 1956 with the signing of legislation by President Dwight Eisenhower, and has appeared on all our paper money since 1966,” said Fuljenz.
In January 2016, a lawsuit was filed in Ohio seeking to remove the phrase from U.S. coins and paper money.
In 2013, a Federal Court judge in New York dismissed a lawsuit seeking removal of In God We Trust from our currency. The judge noted that “the U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly assumed the motto’s secular purpose and effect.” In 2011, the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved a resolution reaffirming it as the national motto and encouraging its display in all public schools and government buildings.
Fuljenz pointed out that while the motto first appeared on U.S. coins at the time of the Civil War, it actually was inspired by events a half century earlier during the War of 1812 when The Star Spangled Banner was composed.
“In 1861, Treasury Secretary Salmon Chase received a letter from a Pennsylvania minister who requested ‘the recognition of the Almighty God in some form on our coins.’ Chase instructed Mint Director James Pollock to prepare a motto. Pollock recalled a lyric in the now-seldom sung fourth stanza of The Star Spangled Banner: ‘And this be our motto – In God is our trust.’ Pollock had the words, ‘GOD OUR TRUST,’ placed on a few experimental patterns being tested in the early 1860s for proposed new designs,” said Fuljenz.
“After consultations and debate within the Treasury Department, the words, IN GOD WE TRUST, first appeared in circulation on a new coin denomination, copper two-cent pieces, starting in 1864,” said Fuljenz.
A former high school chemistry and physics teacher and principal of the Governor’s gifted students program in Louisiana, Fuljenz has served on the Diocese of Beaumont Catholic School Board since 2007 and was President from 2010 to 2012. He was honored with the Catholic Charities of Southeast Texas Humanitarian Award in 2013.
Known as America's Gold Expert®, Michael Fuljenz has won more than 50 prestigious national and regional awards and honors for his consumer education and protection work in rare coins and precious metals. He recently received an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from McNeese State University. A respected community leader in his hometown of Beaumont, Texas, Mike also has served with distinction as a consultant to the Federal Trade Commission, United States Mint and Royal Canadian Mint, and is on the Board of Directors of the Jefferson County Texas Crime Stoppers organization, the Industry Council For Tangible Assets and the Numismatic Literary Guild.