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In God We Trust, but only as a secular symbol

On this day of remembrance of those fallen in war, it seems appropriate to ponder one of the ways in which war has impacted our money, the addition of the motto, "In God We Trust."  The phrase was first included on US coins in 1864, perhaps to show that God sided with the North in the Civil War.  Paper currency was given the message in 1957, after Congress made it the official motto of the country, to set us apart from godless Communism.

In short, the motto was born of, and fed by, war.

What's perhaps more interesting are the battles which have been fought over the phrase since.  These have been in the courts of law and public opinion, and put followers of this deity in a peculiar position:  to keep God on money, God must be secular.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    Mr. Ward, I agree in principle with the substance of your argument. It's probably for the best, though, if Pagan fingerprints wer
  • Terence P Ward
    Terence P Ward says #
    We certainly don't want Pagans to be the poster children, which is why I think a coalition is best. Atheists are more numerous, m
  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    Mr. Ward, You're right. Thoughtful Christians in positions of power are probably quite aware that secularizing the word 'God', or

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