Commemorating 'In God We Trust'

"In God We Trust" inscribed at a courtroom in New York City.

"In God We Trust" inscribed at a courtroom in New York City.  (REUTERS/Chip East)

Americans need to be able to celebrate religion and mention God in the public sphere. All too often today, however -- that's a problem.

The Congressional Prayer Caucus Foundation is sponsoring a campaign to celebrate our national motto, "In God We Trust." The initiative focuses on bringing faith to the forefront of our culture -- and in line with that, the Congressional Prayer Caucus Foundation has organized a bus tour as well as the "In God We Trust Put It Up Campaign," which encourages people to post 'In God We Trust' around their home, school, or office.

Lea Carawan, executive director of the Congressional Prayer Caucus Foundation, spoke with LifeZette about the faith-filled initiative that celebrates religion in public places.

"We want Americans to remember again what this country was founded on," Carawan explained. "To change the narrative, to remind people that you don't have to check your faith at the door when you walk out into the public square."

The motto has been part of our history since the beginning, and officially for the last 60 years.

"Many people don't know that 'In God We Trust' is America's national motto," said Carawan. "This month, July 30th, marks the 60th anniversary of 'In God We Trust,' which was written into law by President Eisenhower as our national motto. But, of course, 'In God We Trust' has been sprinkled throughout our nation's history."

For the past 60 years, our nation's motto has remained 'In God We Trust' and it has not been a casual decision on the part of our legislative branch either.

"House Resolution 13 was passed in Congress in 2011, reaffirming 'In God We Trust' as our national motto, and encouraging the public display of it in every school and government building passed 396 to 9. An overwhelming majority affirmed that yes, 'In God We Trust' is our national motto," explained Carawan.

But 'In God We Trust' is more than just a slogan -- and this initiative is more than just those words.

"This is not just a reaffirmation of a slogan. It is a reaffirmation of the American spirit," said Carawan. "It's a recommitment to the principles that define our nation. Really, the efforts to remove God and 'In God We Trust' from our nation, from our history, from our future, is troubling."

In these past few contentious months -- in an election season, when there's been violence against the police, when there have been race-related tensions, when we've seen terror attacks -- Carawan said this initiative is more important than ever.

"In troubling times, our nation has consistently looked toward the one simple truth for hope: that we are a nation that can turn to God and it is God that we trust," she said.

The reception of this initiative has been overwhelmingly positive, with only a few naysayers. But Carawan said it's the usual suspects who don't understand because "they believe we have freedom from religion here in America, as opposed to freedom of religion."

But overall, Carawan said there "has been such an overwhelming reception to this very simple message, people from both sides of the aisle can get behind it."

The "majority of Americans believe in the founding principles, so I'm not surprised that the majority of Americans are strongly behind a movement like this."

Carawan is calling on all Americans passionate about this issue to take part in the organization's initiative on July 30. "Americans who believe in these things need to stand up, show up, and not stay silent. They should push back when they're told they cannot engage in the public square," Carawan concluded in a final rallying cry.