August 19, 2008

In God We Trust?

Posted in Journal tagged , , , at 10:29 pm by Jenn

I received an email from my friend Carey today asking me to go over to MSNBC and take this surveyabout taking “In God We Trust” off of American currency.  I clicked, I chose and then I wondered….hmm, how long has it even been on there to begin with. 

So, me being me, I “googled” “In god we trust” and found this Fact Sheet from the US Treasury.

I was surprised to learn that on paper money these words appeared as recently as 1966, and that on some coins (did you know we used to have 2 and 3 cent coins) it has come and gone and come again.

If we took “In God We Trust” off the currency, what would we put on there in its place?  “Land of the Free”, “Home of the Brave”, “Freedom and Justice for All”.  If they took it off would anyone even notice? 

Did you know that “In God We Trust” is or national motto so why shouldn’t it be on our currency.  We Americans apparently just need something to bitch about.  Now I’m fired up.

In my opinion, there are real problems in the good old US of A that need major focus and attention.  I seriously doubt that spending millions of dollars (just my personal estimate) to remake currency molds and printing blocks is the best use of my tax money when there are MILLIONS of Americans (I remember reading recently over 30 million – and that was 2001 date I believe) who will be going to bed hungry tonight.

So where am I going with all of this?  I have no idea, but I do have a suggestion.  Anyone who wants “In God We Trust” removed from the US currency should take all of the money they physically possess right now (cash, money in piggy banks, loose change, etc.) to their local food bank and from now on only use plastic.  This way, not only will you be rid of the offending currency, Americans in need will benefit.

Ok, I’m getting off my soapbox now and going to watch House.



  1. you go girl!! i agree what an extreme waste of money to change the dollars… how dumb.

    is house new??

  2. Mom said,

    My ancestors came to this country on a wing and a prayer-hungry, cold, not knowing where they would go or what was ahead of them-in awful ships that couldn’t have been comfortable or even clean most of the time. Some of them came across the ocean in those boats pregnant-can you imagine that???? They had to trust in God as they had no one else to trust in. We founded this country on God and maybe if we trusted in him more we could all get ourselves out of the messes we have gotten into.
    And I wonder where you get it from!!!!

  3. Jen D said,

    Amen girls. Listen, I am not a religious person per say, but I do have faith and so did the people who founded this country. Everyone talks about ‘rights’ and offending each person’s beliefs. Well, we wouldn’t have ANY rights if it weren’t for those who built this country so, in my opinion, to remove it shows an all too popular lack of appreciation and respect. There…I have offered an opinion so I should be good for about 6 months. lol.

  4. Ruth said,

    Way to go, Ladies. This is my favorite kind of forum – where everyone agrees. 🙂

    I got the same poll this week too.

    Jen, you’re really on to something with the suggestion you make in your post. To build on that idea, the way I see it is this: we (individuals, organizations & nations) all have a finite amount of energy, time, resources. Yet, there’s an infinite amount of work to be done to make the world better. I understand that there’s a whole myriad of decisions to be made about exactly what constitutes “better”. But unfortunately, there’s also a myriad of very clear tasks that are required – like feeding the hungry.

    p.s. To stray from my own point – it feels apropos to add, I’m grateful to put my trust in God.

  5. sjsmart said,

    : ) Ruth!

    I’m really surprised that there haven’t been comments from “naysayers”….when I took the poll on the website there were 40% of poll takers who thought the words should go…..

  6. Historian said,

    In God We Trust became the national motto in 1956 via an Act of Congress. Up until that time our de facto motto appearing on the Great Seal of the US in 1782 and on currency was E Pluribus Unum (from many, one). An Act of Congress sponsored by McCarthyites who were trying to get an American Loyalty oath ingrained into law made In God We Trust the “official” motto. They also thought it was a way to defeat Communism. That’s why they started putting it on the currency. Many people object to it because of its sordid origins out of McCarthyism. Several religious leaders requested that In God We Trust be put on our coinage during the Civil War. Many people objected to it being put on coins, including Theodore Roosevelt. He felt it cheapened the sentiment. Other religious leaders have also opposed the motto, feeling, also, that using money inscribed with In God We Trust to buy liquor or for use in paying for prostitutes cheapened the idea.

    In fact the reason the Supreme Court has ruled against taking it off our currency is that the motto has “lost through rote repetition any significant religious content.” They’ve only allowed it to remain Constitutional and not in violation of the separation of church and state because they find that it no longer has any religious significance. The phrase is considered “ceremonial deism” which is a specific legal term that means that it is words or acts that started out as religious but have since become non-religious through universal use. Therefore according to the Supreme Court putting “In God We Trust” on our coinage is not meant by the government to have any religious connotation.

    This country was NEVER founded as a Christian national (or Judeo-Christian as some write). In fact most of the founding fathers were deists and in their original writings about the Constitution they specifically said it was not a Christian nation. Foremost of these was Thomas Jefferson who repeatedly in his writing confirmed that the country was not founded as a Christian Nation. George Washington also agreed with these sentiments. The Treaty of Tripoli was negotiated during his last term and ratified during John Adams term and signed by him on June 10, 1797. Article 11 reads:

    Art. 11. As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquillity, of Mussulmen; and, as the said States never entered into any war, or act of hostility against any Mahometan nation, it is declared by the parties, that no pretext arising from religious opinions, shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.

    A Treaty ratified by Congress has the full weight of law. Just as an Act of Congress in 1956 made “In God We Trust” our national motto, The Treaty of Tripoli enshrined in law the fact the United States is not a Christian Nation. This portion of the treaty has never been abrogated by any subsequent laws. In fact several laws trying to establish the United States as a Christian nation have been decidedly defeated in Congress.

  7. sjsmart said,

    Historian – Thank you for weighing in.

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