This is remarkable: the history of the "In God We Trust" motto on American currency. In 1861, a minister wrote to the secretary of the treasury, saying:
What if our Republic were not shattered beyond reconstruction? Would not the antiquaries of succeeding centuries rightly reason from our past that we were a heathen nation? What I propose is that instead of the goddess of liberty we shall have next inside the 13 stars a ring inscribed with the words PERPETUAL UNION; within the ring the allseeing eye, crowned with a halo; beneath this eye the American flag, bearing in its field stars equal to the number of the States united; in the folds of the bars the words GOD, LIBERTY, LAW.
This would make a beautiful coin, to which no possible citizen could object. This would relieve us from the ignominy of heathenism.
One thing that I think those of us opposed to putting too much God into public affairs tend to miss is that this isn't just something imposed on us from On High; the reason our leaders support it is that their constituents, by and large, support it. If 90% of US citizens are opposed to the ignominy of heathenism, us ten-percenters are unlikely to make much headway. So although I was pleased to hear of the court decision, I never expected any real changes to occur as a result. The fact is, America is a Christian nation in all sorts of ways, despite the presence of many non-Christians among its citizens. Unfortunate but true.