Campus Notebook: God, Communists and the CVC

Posted July 15, 2009 at 6:41pm

The nation’s largest group of atheists and agnostics is suing the Architect of the Capitol in an effort to stop the engraving of “In God We Trust— in the Capitol Visitor Center.

[IMGCAP(1)]The Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation claims the project is unconstitutional because it will use taxpayer money to endorse religion.

In their complaint, the group argues that the engraving “diminishes nonbelievers by making god-belief synonymous with citizenship.—

Both the House and Senate recently passed legislation directing the AOC to engrave “In God We Trust— and the Pledge of Allegiance in a prominent position in the CVC.

The bill — introduced by Rep. Dan Lungren (R-Calif.) — is a response to Republican criticism that the CVC does not include enough references to religion’s role in the founding of the nation’s government.

But the foundation argues that “In God We Trust— and the “under God— in the pledge were adopted during the Cold War as a symbol against communism. To engrave it in the CVC would treat Americans who are not religious as “outsiders,— the group says.

The CVC, which is the largest-ever expansion to the Capitol, opened in December after years of construction that cost $621 million.

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