Temple University professor David Mislin, author of Saving Faith: Making Religious Pluralism an American Value at the Dawn of a Secular Age, offers a short history of the phrase “In God We Trust,” in the wake of Donald Trump’s recent State of the Union address. Here is a taste of his piece at The Conversation:
In his first State of the Union address President Donald Trump sought to link religion with American identity.
“Together, we are rediscovering the American way. In America, we know that faith and family, not government and bureaucracy, are the center of the American life. The motto is ‘In God We Trust,’” Trump declared.
But the history of “In God We Trust” is more complex than Trump’s assertion suggests.
That phrase, and similar invocations of God in national life, are relatively recent additions to America’s political language. From my perspective as a religious history scholar they reflect a particular view of the United States, not a universally accepted “American way.”
Read the rest here.