Survey: 45 Percent of College Students Want ‘In God We Trust’ Removed from Currency

A packet of $5 bills is inspected at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing in Washington, D.C., March 26, 2015. (Gary Cameron/Reuters)

A survey of about 1,000 college students across the U.S. found that nearly half would like to see the motto “In God We Trust” removed from American currency, highlighting a trend of declining religiosity among younger generations.

“Do you believe the motto ‘In God We Trust’ should remain on U.S. currency or should it be removed?” asked the online poll, conducted for The College Fix by College Pulse. 53 percent of respondents said the phrase should remain and 45 percent said it should be taken

69 percent of black students, 57 percent of Asian students, 51 percent of white students, and exactly half of Hispanic or Latino students supported keeping the phrase.

69 percent of LGBT students said they would support removing the motto from U.S. currency, while only 38 percent of students who identify as straight said they would support doing so.

67 percent of student Democrats said they’d favor removing the phrase, compared to just 6 percent of student Republicans.

63 percent of male students supported keeping the motto, compared to 49 percent of female students.

“In God We Trust,” the country’s national motto, has been on U.S. coins since 1864, when it was placed there to encourage religious sentiment, and began appearing on paper bills after a 1955 law required it to be included on all American currency.

In recent years, that law has roiled atheists and other non-religious citizens, who have challenged it in court. Earlier this year, the Supreme Court threw out a case challenging the law brought by atheist groups.

Younger Americans have shown themselves to be less interested in religion than their parents’ and grandparents’ generations. Only 30 percent of millennials and Generation Z said they see religion or belief in God as “very important,” compared to 67 percent of older citizens, according to a recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll. Those who are college-aged or slightly older tend to identify more than their parents as religiously unaffiliated.

Paralleling younger citizens’ tepid feelings toward religion is their tendency toward liberal political viewpoints, with members of Generation Z more likely than Millennials to embrace liberal over conservative values.

College Pulse’s online poll of 1,001 college students was conducted from August 22 to 23.

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