Friday, May 18, 2007

In God We Trust.

Normally I would talk about the fact that Mt. St. Helens erupted on this day in 1980, but after the passing of Falwell, I got to thinking about religion and how its gone from the objective to the fanatical. I find when I get on this subject with a many a people, there is the preception that the founding fathers put "in God We Trust" on our money and that just ain't true. In fact, I see it as a hang over from the 2nd Great Awakening. During that period, around 1820-1830, christians decided to take up societies issues like women's rights and abolitionism. That, in the political theater, plays out in the civil right movement, womens sufferage, and eventually to Teddy and the Progressive backlash against big business, which is where we end up with this tid bit of history.
1908 : Congress mandates use of "In God We Trust"

In a move that seemingly flew in the face of America's founding belief in the separation of church and state, Congress passed legislation on this day in 1908 that made the maxim "In God We Trust" an obligatory element of certain coins. The motto dates back to the early 1860s, when the Civil War stirred religious feelings throughout the nation. America's heightened piety manifested itself in many places, including the treasury department, which received countless letters requesting that the nation's coins pay some form of tribute to God. Concerned citizens and religious leaders found a fast friend in Treasury Secretary Salmon P. Chase, who readily agreed that the "trust of our people in God should be declared on our national coins." James Pollock, director of the U.S. Mint at Philadelphia, was charged with devising a suitable motto. After some key revisions from Chase, Pollock decided upon the now-familiar "In God We Trust."


GayBury said...

No kidding. I did not know that.

TomCat said...

Facinating . . . Have you found that when people "tell you" they are Christian you become leary? Does it seem like the people that say "Have a blessed day" are the same one's making you so blessed mad? I was raised that you show you are a Christian by your actions, by your love.

The loss of support for "Trust in God" is the reason this country is falling apart. Ironic.

Oceanshaman said...

In my experience, those with an actual and secure trust in God have no need to push their faith on others or emblazon that faith upon currency . . .

It is what it is, regardless of what other people think and regardless of what your money says . . .

o w grant said...

People, who announce to all who will listen, that they are TRUE CHRISTIANS are actually professing their allegience to a particular set of tenets. These said tenets allow them to feel superior over anybody who may be a threat to their bigoted idealogy, by claiming to be the the only costodians of the TRUTH.

Those who actually DEMONSTRATE a Christ like attitude understand the value of teaching by example, rather than by intimidation.

I have encountered very few of the latter, but when I do, my faith in humanity improves tremendously.

I want to add that by Christ like, I mean demonstrating those values cited in the writings and traditions of most major religions. The term is used here for the sake of easy identification by western readers.

Benn said...

Wait... you mean Congress actually passed a law that respected an establishment of religion?

How utterly unconstitutional!

Wasn't there something about Jesus not liking coin changers in the Temple?

Ironic that we plaster God on our money (thereby forcing an acknowledment of God - whether you believe in it or not - into every consumer interaction) and every church I've been to passes a collection plate.

Hell, the last church I've been to (for a friend's father's funeral) had a gift shop.

But hey, it's not about money. If it were, well, maybe churches might have to lose their tax-exempt status.

But seriously, wouldn't it make more sense to remove "In God We Trust" from our money and replace it with "Buyer Beware!"

Or at least "Caveat Emptor!"