Constitutional Issues

In whom does Irvine trust?

In whom does Irvine trust?

The city of Irvine is planning to join hundreds of municipalities around the state and country in displaying the national motto — “In God we trust” — on a wall of its City Council chambers. Mayor Steven Choi wants to make it a dominant image, with large letters, hanging behind the council seats so that everyone watching the meeting from the gallery or at home on television will get the message.

That is a bad idea, no matter the type size. Council members in Irvine and officials elsewhere like to say that they're merely embracing history. “In God we trust,” after all, has been the national motto since 1956, when it replaced “E pluribus...