Our Forefathers believed that the trust of American people should always be in God. As early as the 1860s, the phrase “In God We Trust” was used.

Salmon Chase was secretary of the Treasury in the 1860s. He ordered the director of the U.S. Mint at Philadelphia to prepare coinage that included the phrase “In God We Trust.” He sent a letter dated November 20, 1861, saying, “No nation can be strong except in the strength of God, or safe except in His defense. Trust of our people in God should be declared on our national coins.”

Congress passed legislation in 1864 authorizing a two-cent copper coin bearing the phrase “In God We Trust.” On occasions when coins did not have that phrase, the public protested. 

Sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens did not think that the phrase complimented the artwork of the new coinage design. He suggested that President Roosevelt remove it, which he did.

In 1956, President Dwight D. Eisenhower approved a legislation that declared “In God We Trust” to become the national motto of the United States. It also would appear on our currency. It would replace the old motto E pluribus unum.

One problem we have in America is that sometimes we try to design our artwork around a religious phrase like In God We Trust, and the artwork doesn’t “measure up.” What we need to do is begin with phrases such as our statement of faith, and then design the artwork around it. How it looks is not nearly as important as what it communicates!

A few years ago, I was invited to speak at an influential national organization where young business leaders meet to form relationships and share best practices. It was an impressive group of young business leaders.

The meeting when I spoke was on the 4th of July. I gave an outline of a patriotic message that would be included in their program. The printer made a typographical error when he added one letter, an “L. Everybody was embarrassed when the printed copy came back with the following title, “In Gold We Trust.” It was an honest mistake, but it pointed to a real problem our country has. Do we trust in gold, or do we trust in God?

I love what the State of Louisiana did recently. In May 2023, they introduced House Bill 8 to the Louisiana legislature that will require all charter and public K12 schools and colleges in Louisiana to display “In God We Trust” in every classroom. I am more grateful for Louisiana today than I have ever been. Their legislature gave overwhelming approval, and the Governor, John Bell Edwards, signed it.

LSU won the women’s basketball national championship and the men’s baseball national championship. That is huge for the state, but I believe the biggest victory Louisiana won was passing this legislation. This is the real victory!

Notice that the motto must be displayed in every classroom—not just every school in some obscure place. Every student in every school in Louisiana will see it every day!

How about Alabama? How about other states? We have “In God We Trust” on our money—it’s our nation’s motto—let’s put it in every classroom!


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