Can the state of Kentucky use the words "almighty God" in its legislation? The phrase was used in two bills in 2006 which led to the creation of the state's Office of Homeland Security.
The measures essentially say the state relies on God for its safety. Ten Kentucky residents have challenged the wording of the bills in court.
The case is currently before the three-judge Kentucky Court of Appeals after a lower court judge ruled the phrase was unconstitutional.
Special Assistant Attorney General Tad Thomas argued before the court on Thursday that courts have found for two centuries that governments in America have the right to talk about God in their documents.
"Since George Washington, every president in their inaugural speech referenced a deity to help assist and protect the nation," Thomas said.
The national motto, "In God We Trust," and the Declaration of Independence's affirmation that people "are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights" also point to U.S. support of God's protection, he said.