By David Bradshaw, RMP Editor
Nov. 14, 2005
“Irreverence, dangerously close to sacrilege. A beautiful and solemn sentence such as this should be uttered only with fine reverence.”
-AUGUSTUS SAINT-GAUDENS, Sculptor
-THEODORE ROOSEVELT, President United States
In 1905, both Augustus and Theodore were in agreement: using the motto "In God We Trust" on the new United States $20 gold coinage showed "irreverence." Not because it did not reflect the worldview of America at the time, but rather, because they were both devout men who felt God's name is too holy to strike into a national currency which could be used for ungoldly purposes.
Two years later, in 1907, the first issue of the $20 “Saint” was minted with no motto. But, on July 1, 1908, after a tidal wave of protest and debate from across the country, Congress mandated the inclusion of the motto on all $20 gold coins from 1908 onward.
Can you imagine the same debate occuring today? Well, get ready for the next assault from the Atheists.
WND reports "Michael Newdow, perhaps America's best known atheist, has a new target in his personal war against God in the public domain: "In God We Trust" on U.S. money."
"I am about to file to get 'In God We Trust' off the front of our currency," he told the Oklahoman. "I plan to do that this week."
Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected Newdow's case seeking to remove "under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance 8-0 because he did not have legal standing to represent his daughter, who is under sole custody of her mother.
Origin of the Motto
The motto of the most powerful nation in world history now rides piggy back on the most coveted currency on earth. Every day millions of people of every nation and religion read America's faith confession; "In God We Trust."
While the currency is coveted, the faith underlying its value is often neglected, and sometimes even scorned. Being such common tender, "In God We Trust" has become a jaded cliché to many who carry it in their pockets and handbags. Its message is least understood by criminals of every shade and place who obtain it by lawless means.
The simple and implied blind faith of the motto deserves our review and reaffirmation.
The national motto adopted by the Founders was inscribed next to the Great Seal of the United States, a decoration devised under the supervision of Franklin, Adams and Jefferson. It was Jefferson who suggested "E Pluribus Unum," and that slogan was adopted in 1782, five years before the Constitutional convention of 1787.
It wasn't until nearly a century later, though, that "In God We Trust" was proposed as a national motto.
Secretary Chase, on November 20, 1861, wrote to James Pollock, Director of the Mint at Philadelphia. He instructed Pollock to prepare a motto, declaring "No nation can be strong except in the strength of God, or safe except in His defense. The trust of our people in God should be declared on our national coins..." A design was submitted in December, 1863 proposing OUR GOD AND OUR COUNTRY, or the alternative of GOD, OUR TRUST. On December 9, 1863, Chase formally approved a third slogan in a letter to the Mint Director.
"I approve your mottoes (sic), only suggesting that on that with the Washington obverse the motto should begin with the word OUR, so as to read OUR GOD AND OUR COUNTRY. And on that with the shield, it should be changed so as to read: IN GOD WE TRUST."
"In God We Trust" thus appeared on the short-lived 1864 two-cent coin. It has been used continuously on the one-cent coin since 1909, and on dimes since 1916. Since July 1, 1908, "In God We Trust" has also been stamped on gold coins, silver dollars, quarters and half-dollar coins.
July 11, 1955, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed Public Law 140 making it mandatory that all coinage and paper currency display the motto "In God We Trust." The following year, Public enacted and signed, which officially replaced the national motto "E Pluribus Unum" with "In God We Trust"
On June 14,1954, Congress unanimously ordered the inclusion of the words "Under God" into the nation's Pledge of Allegiance. By this time, other laws, including a statute for all federal justices and judges to swear an oath concluding with "So help me God."
All paper currency issued after October 1, 1957 included the IN GOD WE TRUST national motto.
To those who have not applied the national motto, trusting God in faith seems to be foolishness, superstition, and weakness. Faith, for those who have made the step of blind trust, is the best life choice - a life lived in God's hands. This new way of living changes cursings into blessings that are energized by continual thanksgiving.
Watch out Florida ... you may be next in the crosshairs of Atheism on the march to rid America of images and words that "offend" ...
The humor of this periodic debate over including the "In God We Trust" motto is that since we no longer have a gold standard for today's paper money system, Federal Reserve Notes are in the words of the FED themselves, "nothing but faith and debt." Faith in man, that is.
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